A coach pulled up in Barga this afternoon and out tumbled a large group of British bellringers all enthusiastic to start a tour of Barga and its bells.
First port of call was the Palazzo Pancrazi to be officially greeted by the administration. Short speeches made, gifts and culture exchanged causing a few raised eyebrows as the name Giovanni Pascoli drew blank looks from most of the assembled guest and likewise, a gift of some special artisan cider caused some questions from the Barga side as to what it was made of and whether or not it was alcoholic.
A group photograph on the Mayor’s terrace and then it down to the unofficial cultural centre of Barga – Da Aristo bar with Giovanni proudly showing off his local prosciutto, bread and beer made from local farro.
Music supplied by Giuliano Nardi and his fisarmonica and then the party moved on through the city stopping on the way at points on interest with MariaElisa Caproni supplying a well informed guide until they reached the Duomo and a complete tour of the cathedral by Don Stefano Serafini.
Finally after climbing the tower, the British bell ringers got to see and hear what they had travelled for so long to experience – the bell ringers of Barga demonstrating their ringing system, the sistema lucchese a corda.
Then it was back on the coach and off to nearby Cascio, Comune of Molazzana, to visit another smaller bell tower and a meeting with The Mayor of Molazzana, Dr. Rino Simonetta.
painter and photographer - started barganews.com, the first on line news site in Tuscany, Italy back in 1996