About Bagni di Lucca

Bagni di Lucca is a collection of 25 villages in the Lima Valley in Northern Tuscany. It has been called Bagni di Lucca since 1862. The commercial centre, and home of the comune, is La Villa, which sits beside the Lima River.

Pretty Ponte A Serraglio is one kilometre down river. The first casino built in Europe is here.

The railway station is at Fornoli, one kilometre further down river towards Lucca.

Ponte a Serraglio

As well as these 3 hamlets there are many others dotted throughout the hillsides, including Benabbio, Lugliano, Casabasciana, Granaiola, about 25 in total.

Bagni di Lucca has been known for its thermal springs since Etruscan and Roman times. In fact, the name means “Baths of Lucca”.  In 1101 the Countess Matilda had the nearby Ponte della Maddelena built so that she could more easily reach the health giving waters.

Ponte della Maddelena

Since Lucca unified the area in 1308 and transormed it into a spa oasis it has been visited by people all over to ‘take the waters’. Its heyday was the early 1800s, when Napoleon’s sister Elisa Baciocchi, who was princess of Lucca at the time, built the road to the village as she liked to spend her summers there.

A casino was built and Bagni di Lucca became popular with foreigners. Writers and artists flocked to the area because of its beauty and climate. Byron and Shelley and the Barrett Brownings were among those who liked to visit.

The area is a great place to visit for some authentic Italian life, where in some cases, things haven’t changed much over the years. It is still possible to see a shepherd with his flock and vegetable gardens lovingly tended, especially in the mountain villages. Take the time to visit the outlying villages…you won’t be disappointed.

the casino at Ponte a Serraglio

When you are in Bagni di Lucca look for an excellent book by 2 local men, Marcello Cherubini and Massimo Betti. It is full of detailed information about where to go, how to get there and what to see, along with some history of the area. You should be able to buy it at the information centre in La Villa and some of the shops and bars.

Recent Posts

Bridge flowers


This is the first year since we bought our apartment in Ponte a Serraglio in 2003 that I have been here for an entire summer. I usually go home to Australia to enjoy our wonderful sub tropical Brisbane winter. I am not a fan of hot weather, but Covid has changed many plans.

It is also the first year I have been here to look after the flowers I plant on the bridge in front of our apartment all summer. The plants are exposed to everything the weather can hit them with and they require quite a lot of watering, fertilising and general care. Because of the harsh conditions they don’t always do well. Even geraniums struggle to survive.

I planted geraniums and a bit later, marigolds, in late spring. The geraniums have not done well, but the marigolds have thrived. A few have recently dropped dead, but new seedlings are growing to replace them. They put on a very good show and there will be marigolds on the bridge next year.


The flowers on my balcony have finally come good after a slow start. These need watering almost daily to survive. I doubt I will plant them again even though they are very pretty.

The plant outside my bathroom window is the easiest to water. I can can reach them from my shower.

Since I will probably be here all winter I will be looking for something that will survive the cold.

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