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81,2 km - Altitude gain 550mt

Stage 10

Castelnuovo di Garfagnana -

Viareggio

Tuesday 16  May 2023 81,2km Altitude gain 550mt
Stage suitable for: Intermediates

Withdrawals: 0

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CASTELNUOVO DI GARFAGNANA

Touristic Information

The earliest documents date back to the Longobard period.

Installation of electric car charging point soon.

Gastronomy

The traditional dishes are: homemade pasta, spelt soup, polenta of chestnut flour or polenta of “formenton otto file” flour, a kind of local savoury maize, mushroom, the fario and iridea trout of the Serchio river, “infarinata”, “Pasimata”, a traditional Easter time cake, “castagnaccio” made with chestnut flour, “tullore”, dried chestnuts boiled with milk and served with cream or “ricotta”, roasted chestnuts “mondine” or boiled chestnuts “ballucci”, “necci” or “frittele”, cheese and local cured meats accompanied by bread baked in wood-burning ovens and made with boiled potatoes and, finally, spelt beer and local wines!

Viareggio

Overview

Viareggio is mainly seen as a seaside resort because a long, sandy beach bathed by the waters of the Mediterranean flanks the town. However, it can also boast close proximity to the mountains of the hinterland, the Lake of Massaciuccoli and the protected areas of the Park of Migliarino and San Rossore. The town plays host to a number of national and international cultural and sporting events throughout the year including the Viareggio Carnival, which this year celebrates its 150th anniversary, the Puccini Festival, the Rèpaci Literature Prize and the Viareggio Cup World Football Tournament.

The warm, at times dazzling, spotlight of Viareggio sweeps across the sea to the profusion of traditional bathing establishments lining the beach and the déco architecture of the promenade and continues over the bridge before arriving in the fishing harbour. From the pier, it runs along the Burlamacca canal linking the town centre and the suburbs and reaches the dockyard home of shipyards that are renowned for building some of the most beautiful yachts in the world. And then to Torre del Lago and the home of Puccini by the lake, where the silence and stillness of the water are only occasionally disturbed by the swish of an oar or the sound of birdsong to reveal the secrets of residences from a bygone era. A glimpse of urban and seafaring life set against a backdrop that truly inspires.

Food

Traditional dishes that must be tried during a stay in Viareggio

“Pasta alla trabaccolara”

“Trabaccolara” is a traditional Viareggio dish made using fish that hasn’t sold at the market. The name derives from the lugger, “trabaccolo”, used by the fishermen from San Benedetto del Tronto, some of whom moved to Viareggio between the 1920s and the end of the 1930s. Fish such as gurnard, scorpion fish and weever are needed to prepare the dish, to which some cooks add shellfish (although not part of the traditional recipe). The fish is cooked with tomatoes and flavoured with wine and aromatic herbs.

 

Risotto with squid and chard

This risotto unites the flavours of the land and the sea and is a favourite served by the local festival street kitchens during the Carnival period. To prepare the risotto, brown the squid, add the chard cut into strips and, once this has softened, add the rice and continue until the rice is cooked; finish the dish with the chopped parsley. Buon appetito!

 

Viareggio style “Cacciucco”

Strictly with the double “C”s! A simple, traditional fishermen’s dish, this fish stew has been made since the 1500s. Cacciucco, from the Turkish “kuchuk” meaning “small”, would be prepared by fishermen as they returned to port from a fishing trip. The distinguishing feature of Viareggio cacciucco is that it uses the fish of little market value and which the fishermen on landing their catch would otherwise have discarded. To be served accompanied by toasted home made bread, preferably rubbed with garlic. Cacciucco fish stew has a strong and slightly spicy flavour.

 

Spaghetti “con i nicchi”

So what are “nicchi”? Nicchi are what people from Viareggio call the clams or cockles found on sandy seabeds. They are cooked very simply but are extremely tasty. After purging the “nicchi” of sand by placing them in a bowl of seawater for at least 12 hours, they’re sautéed in a frying pan before adding freshly cooked spaghetti. White wine, garlic and chilli pepper are used to flavour the clams and parsley is added as a final touch.

 

Spaghetti “con i coltellacci”

“Coltellacci” in Viareggio vernacular are otherwise known as razor shells, which owe their name to the elongated, knife-like form of these molluscs that are found along the shoreline and on rocks after storms at sea. They are prepared plain or with the addition of tomatoes and have a strong, intense flavour.

 

“Scarpaccia”

Finally, a dessert that isn’t sweet at all but which is usually eaten not only at the end of a meal but also as a snack during the day. A cake featuring finely sliced courgettes as the main ingredient. The resulting flavour, a mixture of sweet and savoury, delights the taste buds. Discover it for yourself!

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