Barga is a town of ancient traditions, dating back to the Longobard era of the early Middle Ages (VI-VIII centuries). It is situated in a charming position between the slopes of the Tusco-Appennine hills and the masterful amphitheatre of the Apuan Alps that separate Garfagnana from Versilia. From the sheer beauty of the mountains to the distinct profiles outlining the luminous space of the sky, Barga is impressive for the variety of colours, the mildness of its climate and also the presence of distinguished works of art, as well as the willingness and generous hospitality of the people here.
The town is dominated by the castle situated at 410m on a spur of rock representing a typical urban structure of the mediaeval village, protected by a city wall through which access is gained via three gateways: Porta Reale, Porta Macchiaia and Porta di Borgo. The plan of the town has remained approximately the mediaeval one, represented by the spider's web of little streets that run between the irregular buildings. Following Via del Pretorio, on the left and right there are alleys and cartroads, parts of older buildings and panoramic views; arriving in Piazza Ser Barghesano you find the Duomo.
The conservatory of S. Elisabetta, an ancient monastery of the 'Clarisse' was founded by the Beato Michele Turignoli in the XVth century. In 1788, it was transformed by Pietro Leopoldo Grand-duke of Tuscany into a conservatory for educating girls. The impressive rectangular building is on three regular levels with spacious internal cloisters. The original walls of the castle of Barga, built in the XVI century, make up the perimeter of the area. Amongst the interior furnishings of the nuns’ little church there is a splendid altar-piece from the Della Robbia school; also the large fifteenth-century cross is of great artistic interest, as are two seventeenth-century paintings.
Just beyond Casa Magri and Casa Salvi you arrive at the highest part of the castle, dominated by the impressive size of the Duomo. The view encompasses the irregular roofs of the old part of town in the distance, surrounded by the green of the hills dotted with small villages and outlying cottages and ultimately the magnificent backdrop of the Apuan mountains, rich in marble.