The Fosso must have looked very different before the plane trees which separate it from the street were planted and when the ancient well was still there, near the Porta Mancianella, which the women used to draw water for their houses. And it was certainly more attractive before it was asphalted and full of cars, when it was used for lively ball games played with arm bands or with tambourines,
Luckily however, once inside the walls, you will find that there have been only a few changes over the years, and these only in minor details. In fact, the old part of the town remains mainly intact, and is a living testimony to its natural beauty and its past, which is rich in history, culture and art.
Above the Porta Mancianella is the observation tower, one of the remaining features of the ancient medieval wall. The gate itself opens onto a small space leading immediately to the three streets which take you into the centre of the town. To the left, Via di Solco; almost straight ahead, Via di Mezzo; to the right, Via del Pretorio.
As you pass down these narrow winding streets which penetrate the urban network you can recapture the feeling of times past. But walk slowly, on foot. Forget the frenetic pace of life today and enter into the spirit of another world, a world that no longer exists but which, with imagination, can become very real.
La parte più antica di Barga è protetta da una cinta muraria edifi cata a partire dall’inizio del XVI secolo, edifi cata sulle rimanenze di protezioni di epoca medievale. Le porte che consentivano l’accesso al cosiddetto “castello di Barga” erano in tutto tre: Porta Reale, Porta Macchiaia e Porta di Borgo.
La Porta Reale era un tempo chiamata Porta Mancianella, poiché rivolta verso la località di Manciana – corrispondente all’odierna Piano di Coreglia – costituisce ad oggi la via d’accesso principale alla rocca della città.
L’appellativo di “Reale” lo guadagnò in occasione della visita compiuta a Barga da Leopoldo I di Lorena nel 1787, evento che la
consacrò come punto di entrata “trionfale” e privilegiato al centro cittadino. La porta conserva all’esterno un antico stemma della città, probabilmente di epoca medievale, mentre sul lato interno spiccano i colori accesi di una terra robbiana collocata sulla sommità dell’arco.
The oldest part of Barga is protected by the city’s walls, which were erected on top of the remains of its medieval defences from the 17th century onwards.
Three gates provided access to the so-called “Castle of Barga”: Porta Reale, Porta Macchiaia and Porta di Borgo.
Porta Reale was once known as Porta Mancianella because it faced Manciana – today Piano di Coreglia – and has remained the main access route to the castle.
It was bestowed the name “Reale” during Leopold I of Lorena’s visit to Barga in 1787, when it was consecrated as the “triumphal” and privileged gateway to the centre of the city.
On the outside, the gate still displays the ancient coat of arms of the city, which is probably medieval in origin, while, on the inside, it features the bright hues of a Della Robbia terracotta that decorates the top of the arch.