Barga and Scotland have a very strong bond caused by a long history of emigration which began at the end of the 19th century. In that period, many people from Barga emigrated to Scotland looking for good fortune; many of them came back after the Second World War, while others remained in Scotland and have chosen our city as their holiday destination. This is why Barga, especially in summer, is filled with Scottish visitors, ready to see their relatives who have remained or who have come back to Italy. The results of this phenomenon are that about 60% of Barga’s citizens claim to have Scottish relatives or at least to have some kind of bond with Scotland!
Every year in Barga the Scottish Week is organised; it is a 7-day long event that usually takes place at the beginning of September where Scottish traditions and Scotland’s bond with Barga are celebrated. Moreover, it’s important to remember that Barga and Scotland are legally bonded too: Barga is twinned with East Lothian!
Talking about food, a famous Scottish dish is fish and chips. This preparation was brought to Scotland by Italians, along with ice cream. To celebrate this point in common between the two areas, the Fish&Chips Festival is organised every year at the Johnny Moscardini stadium in Barga.
If we think of culture and celebrities, Barga has a very important baggage. First of all, Johnny Moscardini, already mentioned above, was a famous football player who, before playing in the national team, was a striker in A.S. Barga, one of the city’s football teams; his family was originally from Barga. It’s important to name Nicola Benedetti too, whose father is from Barga, a renowned violinist who won a Grammy Award in 2020 and will accompany the tenor Andrea Bocelli during a part of his tour. It’s impossible not to mention Paolo Nutini, the famous singer and songwriter: his father is from Barga too and he manages a fish and chips shop with his wife in Paisley.
Despite the fact that they don’t have Barga roots, we think it is important to also name John Bellany, the painter who decided to live in Barga during his last years of life and Hamish Moore, a famous bagpipe player who has lived in Barga since 2008.
To conclude, Barga and Scotland are by now inseparable and you will surely notice it as you enter our Old Town Centre. We can’t wait to meet you!
— Written and translated by Margherita Paolinelli
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https://www.scotsman.com/arts-and-culture/welcome-barga-most-scottish-town-italy-1466534 (last access on 17/01/2022)
https://www.nicolabenedetti.co.uk/ (last access on 17/01/2022)
https://www.paolonutini.com/ (last access on 17/01/2022)
Source of the photo: scotland4you.com