The spring weather in Barga is doing what it always does in the spring … bounces around from one extreme to the other in the space of a couple of hours and then back again before you know it. Cold, windy, wintry, miserable weather followed by bright sunshine that brings out radiant smiles in people after the long winter inside and then just as you have got used to that warmth and light – down comes the clouds and believe it or not its throwing huge hailstones at you and covering the ground in freezing cold white surprises.
To celebrate the spring sun reaching the piazza outside of the Palazzo Pancrazi, the inhabitants of that area of Barga Vecchia did a bit of spring cleaning in the piazza.
A couple of years ago the Comune bought and installed some new street furniture – benches, signs, rubbish bins and two large cast iron circular seats which were positioned in the two principal piazzas of Barga Vecchia – Piazza Angelio and Piazza Salvo Salvi. Visitors to Barga could rest their aching legs and admire the plants that were planted in the middle of the large cast iron circular bases.
Seemingly to add “spice” to the occasion, the plants that were chosen were not pretty flowers or even hardy shrubs. No, somebody, somewhere decided that the best plants would be a particular strain of a holly bush, well known for its puncturing and pricking powers to all who ventured close by. These plants flourished well, thrived and grew in stature until they had more or less taken over all of the seating area making it impossible to use them to all but the very hardy or foolish ….. (not counting the Barga cats of course, who managed to squeeze their way into the middle of the holly bushes and use them as their own private cat toilets)
Added to which, after a couple of years, the one in Piazza Angelio was pushed to one side of the piazza to allow the stage to be built for the festas and as these circular seats were extremely heavy, once pushed in the corner – it stayed there.
The same thing happened to the one in Piazza Salvo Salvi. The thriving and now thoroughly uncomfortable-to-be-close-to seat was left to its own devises in the corner.
That is until Marino and some of the regulars at Aristos bar took things into their own hands and manhandled the heavy object back in the middle of the piazza and after some tactical pruning restored the bench to its former (usable) glory.