Hidden treasures

Barga: where the sun sets twice!

Did you know that...

Barga: where the sun sets twice!

Barga is a charming village in Garfagnana in the province of Lucca. There are no doubts about its beauty: it was already praised by Giovanni Pascoli who spent a long time in the area and dedicated to it the famous 'Canti di Castelvecchio' while today the village has been awarded the orange flag by the Italian Touring Club making it one the most beautiful in Italy. But this medieval gem nestled in the hills of Garfagnana has been granted by nature an array of precious and priceless gifts. First of all the views it affords visitors: the Serchio valley, the sheer peaks of the Apuan Alps and the Apennines.

And it is precisely the mountains and their arrangement that contribute to an interesting, fascinating and almost magical phenomenon! This is the so-called 'Double Sunset' in Barga, an event that occurs on some specific days of the year: 11th and 12th November and 30th and 31st January. What happens to the sun and why does it set twice? It’s all down to Monte Forato: a rocky summit with two peaks spotting a large natural arch joining them that has always fascinated scientists, walkers and ordinary people alike capturing the popular imagination as to the origin of the hole itself. And it is precisely this striking hole that causes the double sunset phenomenon. The sun in fact first disappears behind the profile of the Apuan Alps and then reappears, thanks to a curious optical effect, just behind the arch of Monte Forato.

The best place to enjoy the spectacle is the square in front of the wonderful Cathedral of San Cristoforo. It is here, in fact, that every November and January a large crowd of people gathers eager to enjoy the fascinating show and capture it with their cameras. Take note then and make your plans to coincidence with those dates so you too can take part in Garfagnana’s most fascinating phenomenon.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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