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

Have you been to Zato?

Zato is a tiny collection of houses above Lucchio. A Google search reveals that it is 698 metres above sea level, there are 21 buildings and that 9 people live there.

We followed the sign from the turnoff for Lucchio.

A narrow, winding road took us to the entrance to the town. The road narrowed further so we parked just outside and walked in.

A short walk along the one street in Zato revealed the few remaining houses and a church.

 

 

Some lovely old doorways remain.

I could see a few other houses hidden among trees a little further on.

…and some steps to somewhere.

 

 

 

 

 

A well kept garden shows there is life in Zato.

I think I have now been to every village and hamlet in Bagni di Lucca.

 

 

 

  1. First snow 8 Replies
  2. Montefegatesi in autumn 4 Replies
  3. Babbo Natale Leave a reply
  4. Trees in autumn 5 Replies
  5. Presepe Vivente postponed Leave a reply
  6. Events coming up Leave a reply
  7. Rural Bagni di Lucca 8 Replies
  8. This weekend in Bagni di Lucca Leave a reply
  9. Abetone pyramids 2 Replies