Posted by: debrakolkka | May 10, 2010

Cinta Senese at the 1st May Festival

Fornaci di Barga, a small town about 10 kilometres from Bagni di Lucca, holds and annual 1st May Festival.  The main streets are closed to traffic and the entire town is filled with flowers and all manner of things on display.  There is agricultural equipment, cars and lots of things you didn’t know you needed.

more flowers

We went along to buy geraniums for Liz’s window boxes.  It was hard to decide with so many colours and types to choose from.  Once the difficult decision was made we went on the hunt for porchetta.  There is always a porchetta stand at the festival.

Sharp eyed Jim found one tucked away in a side street and we were off.  It was crowded and we had to wait in line – more like a scrum really.  Finally it was our turn and the young girl sliced off some of the best looking porchetta I have seen.  Sometimes it can be a bit dry, but this was absolutely delicious.   She gave us a sample before she went ahead and piled it on some fresh bread slices. 

slicing the porchetta

We found a bench and made short work of our sandwiches.  They were so good I decided I needed  to know more about what we were eating.   I found out that the pork was from a special breed of pig called Cinta Senese.  It is a type of wild pig that was popular in the Chianti region from the middle ages until the 1950s, when it lost favour and was replaced by more productive and fertile breeds.

I asked if the pigs were penned and I was assured that they spend most of the year, in the warmer months outside roaming in the chestnut forests eating wild food.  They are brought in during the cold winter months, but need to be free most of the time to survive.

The breed has become quite rare.    These particular pigs are bred in nearby Casabasciana, an area full of chestnut forests, a perfect area for the pigs to forage for food.  The meat is darker that regular pork and particularly flavourful and fatty for a wild beed. 

The brand is San Lorenzo and as well as appearing at the Fornaci di Barga Festival there is a shop at Via Portichetto 18, Casabasciana.  Tel 0583.85731    


We will go soon to take a look and report.

they brought their own seats


  1. My mouth is watering and no Australian substitute will cut it.

  2. Debra I admire your taste and your curiousity to learn more about the pig! It is amazing how important it is what a pig eats and where it grows.
    I also love your story about looking for Geranium, it is my favorite flower, I had them on my balconies in Paris all summer long! I had two box of white and two of pink!!
    Thanks for sharing the story and the pictures!!

  3. […] del Lavoro – Sunday 1st    Most towns celebrate this day with a fair and a parade of some kind.  We often go to the nearby festival for a great day. the porchetta […]

  4. […] del Lavoro – 1st    Most towns celebrate this day with a fair and a parade of some kind.  We often go to the nearby festival for a great […]

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