Isola Santa

When you have explored all the villages that make up Bagni di Lucca there are hundreds of interesting hamlets to visit in nearby Garfagnana.

Isola Santa is a partially submerged village not far from Castelnuovo in the Garfagnana. It was built in the Middle Ages, probably the 13th century, around a hospice for travellers and pilgrims.

The hospice was disbanded in 1575. It was brought back to life in 1608 and rebuilt as the church of St Jacopo, which still stands today. The detached bell tower was built in 1899.

In 1950 the construction of a hydroelectric station forced the inhabitants to leave. A dam was built and the old bridge and a mill were flooded. Years later some inhabitants returned and restored some of the buildings, but these days it is almost deserted.

It doesn’t take long to explore a Isola Santa…come for a walk through the village.



The best reason to come to Isola Santa is to enjoy the calm, clear water held back by the dam. It is a great place to have a picnic, eat at one of the restaurants or go fishing.



 

Isola Santa would be a lovely day trip from Bagni di Lucca.

 

 

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.