The Garfagnana is a very traditional Italian area rich in opportunities to experience local Italian food. Every town and many of the villages have cafes and or restaurants where regional delights can be tried.
The owners are, in our experience, friendly, welcoming and happy to discuss the menus with visitors.
Below we have listed some of our favourites. There are many more to discover.
Agriturismo Summer (Verni)
località Piazza, 55027 Gallicano LU, Italy
Summer is a ten-minute walk from the house and a great place to go for an evening to eat or just have a drink whilst taking in the stunning views.
The restaurant is run and managed by the Benedetti family who are from Verni and they do their utmost to make you feel welcome.
It is a relaxed, family-friendly restaurant which is well frequented by local people as well as the visitors residing at Summer.
The food is local and reasonably priced.
They have a ‘facebook’ page which will tell you when they have a ‘Focacia Leve’ night – an incredible soup with an endless supply of warm flat bread cooked over wood in a pizza oven and served with either beans or meat.
Much of the produce cooked at Summer is grown by the family.
Agriturismo Antica Trattoria dell'Eremita
A family favourite. Lunch is from 12-2/3pm and dinner from 5pm. Check their website for details.
This nearby restaurant has to be in one of the best locations. It is set high up on the side of a mountain with beautiful views back to Verni and the surrounding area.
The menu is traditional with options for vegetarians and vegans.
Throughout the spring and summer food is served outside.
The trout is fresh and often praised and the mushroom tagliatelle is really worth a try.
The restaurant is located next to a monastery with an incredible church built in to the mountain. Check the gates for opening times.
It is also possible to walk from the restaurant to the village of Caloumini set high on the mountain top above the restaurant.
Pizzeria la Bionda
This restaurant is owned and managed by the lovely Monia and located in Gallicano.
It serves unsurpassable pizza. It’s very Italian and the best. Monia is more than happy to make a pizza of your choice. You will always need to book. La Bionda opens about
4pm ish but food is not served until 7pm onwards. The vino frizzante bianco is on tap and tastes great. Wine is served, as in most places, by the quarter, half litre or litre.
Well worth a visit
Pizzeria Da Ale
Alessandra and her daughter Andrea run and manage their restaurant in Gallicano. They are a fantastically friendly and welcoming family. Pizza da Ale stays open late and is also a great place to go and have a drink and people watch.
It serves regional food and is known for its fish dishes. Often bustling and full but you can be lucky if you just turn up to eat. Great pizza and a wonderful spaghetti with olive oil, garlic and chilli.
Vino frizzante on tap!
Hotel Eliseo – (Hotel in Gallicarno)
Located in Gallicano along a small side road opposite the bank and to the left of the pharmacy. Great food. Nice people who speak English. One step ‘up market’.
Café Il Goloso
Via di Fondovalle, 33, 55027 Gallicano LU, Italy
A local institution. We use the café in the square in Gallicano to have coffee and watch the world go by. An Italian breakfast is a coffee and a pastry. Sometimes we go early just to sit and watch the town wake up. You can also have the traditional Spritz with Aperol and sparkling wine. The Italians start from 11 in the morning – it’s rude not to join them.
A must are the miniature pastries – try the nut cream!
Light snacks are served for lunch.
Station Café – Barga Gallicano Station
Its as local as you can get. Mornings are good for coffee and a pastry. Sandwiches etc are served all day until they run out. Frequented by locals and those coming to and from work.
Beer and wine on a hot day…..
Ristorante Il Barchetto
A large general restaurant good for pizza, seafood and meaty stuff. It is located next to a small lake and mainly outside. Very well frequented by Italian families. From Gallicano turn right on the main road to Lucca. Barchetto is on the left a way along the road. Look out for the sign – it is a sharp turn in.
*Working Lunch (Mon-Friday 12-3)
There are many restaurants in Barga. Listed are a few that we enjoy.
L'Osteria Di Riccardo Negri
This is our favourite restaurant in the lovely mini-city of Barga.
It is in a great location, serves really good food and is run by the charismatic Ricardo.
Booking is advisable in the summer for evening meals, however, now that the restaurant has expanded into the square there are more often places available.
Look out for their special music evenings. Ricardo’s partner is an opera singer and the events involve the restaurant taking over the beautiful square which is lit for the evening with wonderful operatic presentations in the open.
Da Aristo Di Togneri Lorenzo
Our favourite café in Barga. After eating at Ricardo’s we walk the short distance to Da Aristo for coffee and drinks.
On days when we come for a Barga stroll, we use this café for coffee or a light lunch or maybe even a spritz.
Via di Mezzo, 1, 55051 BargaBarga LU, Italy
This restaurant is just inside the city walls on the left. They speak English.
Great for truffle pasta – a family favourite. They make their own pasta which you can sometimes see hanging over the chairs as you go by.
There are countless restaurants and cafes to try in Lucca.
It sometimes better to avoid those in the main squares where the food is from a tourist menu. Wander along the side streets and see what you can find.
A few cafes and restaurants have opened up on the wall itself and look to be very interesting.
Taking a coffee in one of the beautiful squares and watching Lucca go by is a regular pastime.
Ristorante Locanda Di Bacco
Via San Giorgio 36 Lucca 55100
Classic Italian Food at a reasonable price with really good service.
A great lunch or evening stop off just a little off the beaten track.
Trattoria Da Leo (Leos Lucca)
Best in Lucca – 12-3
*A working mans lunch is called a ‘Pranzo di Lavoro’ and can often be a very good buy for the price. Look out for signs in restaurants.