Meet Heather from Casabasciana

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Heather Jarman lives in Casabasciana, one of the gorgeous mountain villages of Bagni di Lucca. In her career as an archeologist she researched the early history of agriculture. She is passionately interested in food, from growing and production to cooking and eating.

Her knowledge of food production in the Bagni di Lucca and Garfagnana is amazing. I first met her last year when she took me along to meet a local cheese maker. We set off into the mountains and met the delightful Marzia who spent the morning showing us how to make cheese and ricotta. Click here for the full story.

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On another adventure we went high in the mountains to a village called Lupinaia for their chestnut festival. It was one of the most delightful afternoons I have ever had, topped off with a walk back to the car along an old mule trail.

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Click here to see more of the very beautiful Lupinaia.

This year we headed off to the Slow Food soup finals in Lucca and got to try some delicious soup and listen to some great folk music. Click here to see more.

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I have learned how to make bread using traditional methods in a wood fired oven with Paolo after visiting his gorgeous farm in the Garfagnana. He grows farro and breeds beautiful cattle. Click here to see the gorgeous cows.

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That’s Paolo blessing the bread as it goes in the oven.

I went with Heather to the huntsmen’s dinner in Casabasciana, where we helped the hunters eat the cinghiale (wild boar) they had caught during the season. Both the food and the company were wonderful after we had worked up our appetites with a walk around the beautiful village at sunset.

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Click here to see more of Casabasciana.

We went to the Lucca Wine and Food festival and met lots of local wine makers.

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And we ate some wonderful local food. Click here to see more.

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Quite possibly best of all she introduced me to the delightful concerts in Lucca organised by Mattia. I became a regular visitor on Tuesday and Friday nights. Click here to find out more, or check the website http://iconcertidegliangeli.com

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There is a never ending list of things to do in Bagni di Lucca and the nearby areas…..and Heather knows all about them. She organises tours for small groups to do things you would never find in a guide book. In her own words she is “Making tourism work to sustain the rural economy and the people. …you will encounter an endangered lifestyle which we don’t want to disappear.”

Visit her website for more information…..www.sapori-e-saperi.com