Just down the mountain lies the town of Barga, which features a Medieval walled city, which boasts Aristo’s Bar (known to most as Casciani’s).
For three generations, this little establishment has offered neighbors the “vino locale,” or fresh, local wine by the glass (22 cents), the bottle ($1.10) or the jug (why bother?). Our love affair with this area is neatly centered in this colorful bar, where vino, smiles, and songs are served lovingly in many languages by Saint Aristo and his friends. Between the last time we were here (’96) and now, Aristo suffered a serious health problem, buried his mother (with whom he had dined nightly), and quit sampling his own wares. Other than that, and for three generations now, not much has changed, thank God. As the sign hanging in the bar says, “From wine what sudden friendships spring.”