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Lucca and Versilia

Description

The Province of Lucca can be divided in four areas: the Versilia, on the Tyrrhenian sea, the Garfagnana, on the border of Tuscany and Emilia Romagna, the Valle del Serchio in the middle, and the Piana di Lucca in the South.
During the VI century AD Lucca became the capital of the Lombard Dukedom of Tuscia and in the XIII century it was the hub of the silk trade between Europe and Asia thanks to the Via Francigena, also travelled by many pilgrims.
Versilia is the ideal place for a fashionable holiday, where relaxation and society life marry perfectly: beaches, night-spots, discos, excellent restaurants and museums. Versilia, however, is not just the seaside: it is also the peace and quiet of woodland pathways, the purity of its chestnut woods, the serenity of the green hills and the smell of the olive trees surrounding the area.
Simple ingredients from the land: cuisine in Lucca is inseparably tied to the agricultural work of its ancient peoples. What has distinguished it has always been the cultivation of the olive, from which the extra virgin Colline Lucchesi oil comes, the spelt of Garfagnana, the honey from the Colline del Compitese or from Garfagnana itself, where the 'farina di neccio' (chestnut flour) also comes from. From all this come such local dishes as 'castagnaccio' and 'necci' filled with ricotta cheese, spelt soup, infarinata (floured cake), pigeon risotto, rosticciana di maiale (roast pork), funghi trifolati (mushrooms sliced and fried and cooked in oil with garlic and parsley) and the 'cecina' (chickpea cake). Where desserts are concerned, the province of Lucca has the 'buccellato', a cake made with flour, water, sugar, aniseed and raisins. This land is also generous with wine. The DOCG wines of the Colline Lucchesi and Colline di Montecarlo should be tasted, together with the well-known "Vin Santo".

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