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historical and geographical region
a small lake in a deep wooded valley
The Lago di Vagli, an artificial lake
Garfagnana is located in Tuscany
Coordinates: 44°05′N 10°26′E / 44.09°N 10.43°E / 44.09; 10.43Coordinates: 44°05′N 10°26′E / 44.09°N 10.43°E / 44.09; 10.43
Country Italy
Region Tuscany
Province Lucca
 • Area 620 km2 (240 sq mi)

The Garfagnana is a historical and geographical region of central Italy, today part of the province of Lucca, in Tuscany. It is the upper valley or basin of the river Serchio, and thus lies between the Northern Apennines' main ridge to the north-east and the Alpi Apuane to the west. It has heavy rainfall and is densely wooded. The principal towns are Castelnuovo di Garfagnana and Barga.[1]


The people of the Garfagnana were Apuani and Friniati. The area was conquered by the Romans in 180 AD. After the fall of the Carolingian empire in 888 it came under the control of various feudal lords, and was later caught up in the rivalry between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines. In 1248 the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II ceded it to the Republic of Lucca. In the fifteenth century much of the territory came under the control of the d'Este family of Ferrara, and in 1847 the remaining part was absorbed into the Duchy of Modena. With the unification of Italy, the Garfagnana became part of the province of Massa e Carrara, and in 1923 passed to that of Lucca.[1]


The Garfagnana is almost entirely mountainous. It has heavy rainfall, and much of it is densely wooded, often with sweet chestnut, Castanea sativa.[1] Chestnuts were until recently an important food source; the Farina di Neccio della Garfagnana, a chestnut flour, has DOP status.[2] The farro of the region, Farro dell Garfagnana, has Indicazione Geografica Protetta status;[3] the area is also known for its lentils and for its porcini mushrooms. It is the area of origin of the Garfagnina breed of cattle, and of the Garfagnina Bianca sheep breed.[4]

The capital of the region is Castelnuovo di Garfagnana.

The Garfagnana and Lunigiana were struck by a powerful earthquake on 7 September 1920. The worst damage and largest number of deaths were at Villa Collemandina;[5] the greatest intensity was recorded there and at Fivizzano.[6]


The region is primarily agricultural, however in recent years there has been an upsurge in Agritourism and holiday homes, which has now become important to the economy of the region.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c Garfagnana (in Italian). Enciclopedie online . Rome: Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana. Accessed February 2014.
  2. ^ Farina di Neccio della Garfagnana DOP (in Italian). Regione Toscana. Accessed February 2014.
  3. ^ Farro della Garfagnana IGP (in Italian). Camera di Commercio di Lucca. Accessed February 2014.
  4. ^ Daniele Bigi, Alessio Zanon (2008). Atlante delle razze autoctone: Bovini, equini, ovicaprini, suini allevati in Italia (in Italian). Milan: Edagricole. ISBN 9788850652594. p. 224–25.
  5. ^ Piero Pierotti (2003). Manuale di sismografia storica: Lunigiana e Garfagnana (in Italian). Pisa: PLUS, Università di Pisa. ISBN 9788884922786.
  6. ^ C. de Stefani (1923). Il terremoto del settembre 1920 nella provincia di Massa (in Italian). Bollettino della Società sismologica italiana 24: 136.