Like many such remote mountain villages in Italy, with narrow cobbled streets, traditional agricultural practices and a positively sedate pace of life, arriving in Corfino is, in many ways, like taking a step back in time.
Located high in ancient hills of Garfagnana, for an incredible weekend in August, Corfino's affinity with the past is even more pronounced than normal. Over the weekend of 12/13 August, in a joint venture between the local football team and the village brass band, Un Passo nel Passato, the village's vibrant celebration of its historical traditions, takes over the entire village.
Serving up to 500 visitors a night with locally produced specialities including salami, barley soup and hand made maccheroni, guests enjoy a gentle stroll through the village's charming medieval lanes, stopping in a bustling piazza or a panoramic terrace for the next stage of the gastronomic tour. Entertainment is laid on by talented local musicians, while local craftsmen demonstrate their traditional techniques and display their handmade wares. The remarkable success of the festival, which is only in its third year, seems to have come as a pleasant surprise to the event's organisers who, with the help of a small army of volunteers, are breathing new life into the fabric of the village.
Although during the August holidays there are many such festivals in Italy to choose from, with its genuine sense of a simpler time, warm hospitality and delicious local food, the organisers of Corfino's Passo nel Passato have created something very special.
So, if you happen to be in Tuscany next summer, why not take a step back in time to the village of Corfino?
Available now on Amazon:
From wartime Italy, a true story of resistance and heroism.
A short collect of reflections on family life in locked down Italy
Richard Hough writes about history, football, wine, whisky, culture + travel.