Experience Scottish Culture In Italy In This Unique Medieval Town

There are several unique enclaves and diasporas around the globe; from Little Yemen (a concentrated Yemeni community) in the Bronx, New York City, the Korean community of Uzbekistan, or even one of the many Little Italys around the world. Migration patterns over the years shape coteries in all corners of the planet, and one of the most unsuspecting is in the popular country of Italy, found deep in the rolling hills of Tuscany.

Barga, a small town with a population of less than 10,000 people, is often referred to as "the most Scottish town in Italy." Its historical roots trace back to when Italians, Tuscan residents specifically, migrated to the Americas, but stopped in Scotland for various reasons. This created an Italian community in Scotland in the 19th century, and since then, many Scot-Italians have returned to Barga, officially mixing the two heritages and, thus, creating a Scottish-influenced city in Tuscany. For a truly unique Tuscan experience, come check out the most Scottish town in Italy for yourself.

An Italian city with Scottish flair

So, just how Scottish is Barga, Italy? Well, aside from the abundant presence of Scot-Italians, medieval architecture, Scottish flags plastered all over town, and the eavesdropping of hearing the Scottish dialect, a few other unique traits make Barga especially Scottish.

At the top of that list is the annual Sagra del Pesce e Patate, or Fish and Chips Festival of Barga. Far beyond being just about fried food, Sagra del Pesce e Patate is a cultural celebration between Scotland and Italy. When Italians migrated to Scotland during the 19th century, many of them made ends meet by making gelato or fish and chips. While gelato can be found on every corner in Italy today, Sagra del Pesce e Patate aims to bring the classic Scottish dish to Italy. If you don't find yourself in Barga during the fish and chips festival, you can still get your Scottish fix year-round by visiting the Red Telephone Box Library. As its name insinuates, it is indeed a typical red telephone booth, only with the added twist of having shelves of books inside. The booth was donated by a family in Edinburgh.

Scotland is one of the world's great destinations for avid hikers, and if having ample greenery and mountainous hikes makes a destination more Scottish, then Barga certainly meets that standard. There are several hikes in the area, and walking the "cinque borghi" (five villages) of Mount Prato Fiorioto is a great way to spend an afternoon.

You can still get your Italian fix

Barga is unique and quirky simply for its Scottish flair, but regardless, you're still in Italy after all. For one of the most true and tried Italian experiences, head to a winery. Podere Concori, a family-run biodynamic winery, is simply a must when visiting Barga. Head to their tasting room and grab a proper Tuscan lunch plate, which consists of a nice mix of samplings like cured meats, vegetables, and cheeses, naturally best paired with wine.

While strolling through town, make sure to head up to the Duomo di San Cristoforo before grabbing a bite at Trattoria L'Altana. The eatery is known for its homestyle Italian cooking, with massive portions of pasta, risotto, pork, vegetables, and more. After your meal, if you have any breathing room left, head to the nearby Wine Not? wine bar because, hey, when in Tuscany.

For a luxurious, comfortable stay, head to the Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort and Spa, just a 10-minute drive to the city center. To keep yourself reminded that you are indeed in Italy and not Scotland, take a hands-on cooking class at Le Salette Restaurant and enjoy the fruits of your labor in the form of fresh pasta. The hotel is especially ideal for summer visitors thanks to its sprawling outdoor pool. Barga is just one of many charming medieval towns not to miss when visiting Europe!