Food and Local Activities

Local Food

About the time “I Cinghiali” was purchased in 1988 Mary Cutler-Creed bought a copy of Tatler in London and feasted her eyes upon a disused mill on the banks of the Serchio River, just down the hill. Tearing the page out and putting it under her pillow, Mary tossed and turned for several nights before calling the agent. The rest is history!

Mary began restoring her mill from England and has now lived here permanently going on 14 years. Her passion for cooking and her vegetable garden and breeding chickens has taken up much of her time when not teaching English both in schools and privately. Mary is now an insider to the locals’ love of seasonal produce and what is available in the valley and is widely accepted in the Italian community.

Mary Cutler-CreedOver recent years she has filled the table at “I Cinghiali” for guests on request, at a very reasonable price. Her love of local cuisine will give you specialities of the area and her menus are flexible and cater for all tastes and dietary requirements.

Mary is also available to introduce you to the wonders of local food establishments such as taking you on a tour of the charming family-run cheese factory at Vibbiana, or arranging a visit to a local vineyard which could include a sumptuous meal, cooked outside, with a wonderful panoramic view of the valley.

Village festivals are another of Mary’s specialities and she is the expert on what’s happening around the valley especially during the summer months. Some of the events are magnificent, such as the fireworks at Gorfigliano; many have a religious base and many have a food base! Most you would not find out about by chance.

She can be contacted on (+39) 348 312 3144 or

Food and wine are part of any Tuscan experience and in our valley you are able to purchase the most superb produce almost at the farm door. The Tuscans are most particular with their food and nothing much has changed in their cuisine over the years.

Porcini Mushrooms

Traditional recipes incorporate the mouth-watering porcini mushrooms that the hills abound with in the springtime and Chestnut flour from the trees, which fill the valley and look so beautiful in their spring flowering.


Food Market

Village markets are always a highlight of a visit to the Garfagnana. Our local town Piazza al Serchio has a small market on Tuesday mornings and Castlenuovo di Garfagnana has a large one every Thursday; a veritable treasure-trove of delights.

Cheese Factory

Family-run cheese factory at Vibbiana with Fabrizio, the owner’s son.

Vecchio Molino

Add a coffee at the bar or a mortadella-filled roll at the Vecchio Molino and you will go home replete.

Delivery Truck

The butcher offers meat that is raised just a stone’s throw away: its arrival at the butcher’s shop in a tiny three-wheeled Ape testifies to this. Salamis, other sausages, olives, cheeses, honey and many more products are produced locally.