Barga and, more generally, the Serchio valley is an area rich in flora and fauna, thanks to the many green areas. Barga reaches from the mountains of Tuscan-Emilian Appennines to the eastern banks of the river Serchio.
Regarding plants, in the area beeches, poplars and chestnut trees are very common. The latter usually bloom at the beginning of summer and the flowers transform into burs where the chestnuts grow in the autumn. This nut is used a lot in the kitchen for both savoury and sweet recipes. (You can find more information about their culinary use here).
Another plant that is common to find in the Barga area is the acacia, a non-local plant that however has spread very quickly. Acacia honey, much appreciated by children for its sweetness, is made from the acacia flowers combined with the hard work of bees.
Among the cultivated plants there are vines, olive trees and corn.
When it comes to fauna, in our woods there are many animals: foxes, boars, deer and wolves live in the mountain area of Barga and often come down to the valley looking for something to eat. You may glimpse some of them while crossing the street, especially at night. Apart from these animals, in our woods there are many types of insects, birds (among them you can also find some predatory birds) and small rodents such as squirrels and groundhogs.
In the waters of the Serchio and its tributaries, the main fish is without doubt the Garfagnana’s trout, recognisable by its tapered form and its mimetic colour. This trout is a great hunter and often stays near small waterfalls where it mainly eats insects. If you find this animal, it means the water will be clear, fresh (maybe cold!) and well oxygenated.
— Written and translated by Margherita Paolinelli