Always on the run to see something new and not to be in the crowded tourist places I found the devil’s bridge really intriguing. On the map I saw it’s so near to Lucca I could even go just for an afternoon. That’s what I did.
Borgo a Mozzano is just around 20 km far from Lucca heading north into the mountains. It’s stretching along the river Serchio. The borgo (mountain village) has a few more than 7.000 inhabitants and the main attraction is definitely the bridge and its strange architecture.
I parked the car just in the beginning of the village and walked through it to the other end where the bridge is crossing the river.
Its original name is ‘Ponte della Maddalena’ (bridge of Mary Magdalene). It is a typical Medieval bridge commissioned by Countess Matilda of Tuscany between 1080 to 1100. In 1300 it was renovated but took its name only in 1500 when it was a very important crossing for pilgrims of France on their way to Rome. I thought very interesting the fact that already in 1670 they tried to preserve the bridge by forbidding the passing of milestones and sacks of flour.
In 1836 when a flooding Serchio did a major damage it needed a repair and in the early 20th century it got an additional arch which gives the bridge the shape of today.
From the bridge I went back to where I let the car and got up only a short walk to the Convent of Saint Frances. This little convent has a beautiful tiny church dedicated to Saint Frances (chiesa di San Francesco) which was built in mid 16th century. The altar is from 1726 and the ceiling is a long look worth with its light blue paintings.
In the nice little cloister there are paintings on the walls showing parts of the life of the Saint. On the very left there is the entrance to a garden with a nice walk between azaleas and lemon trees in huge pots.
Today the structure is giving a home to 47 elder people and walking in the convent one can listen to calming music. Very relaxing place and great for a nice view from the gardens to the surrounding mountains.
This place is a ‘must see’ not only because of the bridge but also for the typical mountain village. There are a few places where to take a cappuccino or to eat. I am glad to have seen this place!
Borgo a Mozzano, Tuscany, Italy: