HALLOWE'EN EXTRAVAGANZA IN GARFAGNANO
The biggest Hallowe'en party in Italy is centred round the medieval village of Borgo a Mozzano in the Garfagnano Valley (Lucca, Tuscany) where some 40,000 thousand participants invade the narrow streets to enjoy the non-stop festive programme of street artists, circus acrobats, music performances and historical reenactments all centred around the traditional theme of witches, ghosts, ghouls, vampires and other undesirables from the Underworld, according to the Hallowe'en tradition, imported in recent years from the ancient world of the Celtic peoples.
Borgo a Mozzano is known for its Bridge of the Devil (officially called the Bridge of the Magdalene) that arches high over the Serchio River, while Lucca is haunted by its local ghost - Lucida Mansi, a 17th century noblewoman who made a pact with the devil to retain her youth and beauty in exchange for her soul. Poor Lucida was no match for the Devil, who cheated her and she ended up drowning herself in despair.
Many events also take place in the nearby Royal Palace of Marlia in Lucca, once residence of Napoleon's sister Elisa whom he nominated Princess of Lucca.
Keeping in with the theme of the party, the historic Nardini distillers of Fornaci di Barga (also in the Garfagnano Valley) have produced a special Hallowe'en “Diabolik Drink”, available in the street food stands.
The 2023 Hallowe'en Night at Borgo a Mozzano lasts over two weekends of revelry, from the 28th - 31st October and the 3rd-4th November.
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