Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Devil's Bridge

The 'Maddalena's Bridge' connect the two banks of the river Serchio in the small town of Borgo a Mozzano, near Lucca.It is located on the ancient Francigena road. In the medieval times it was an important pilgrimage road, connecting Rome to Canterbury (England).

The bridge construction goes back to the era of the Countess Matilde di Canossa (1046-1115), that had large influence and power on this zone of Tuscany, the Garfagnana, but its current aspect is due to the reconstruction carried on by Castruccio Castracani (1281-1328), Sir of Lucca at the beginning of the 14th century.

The bridge is known as Ponte del Diavolo (The Devil's Bridge) in force of a popular legend, reinforced from its strange aspect: a master mason begun its building but soon noticed that he would not be able to complete the work for the fixed day and frightened of the possible consequences invoked to the Devil asking him help. The Devil accepted to complete the bridge in a night in change of the spirit of the first that will cross it. The contract was signed but the constructor, full of remorse, confess himself with a religious of the zone that advised him to let cross the bridge for first to a pig. So the Devil was defeated and he disappeared in the deepness of the river.

This remarkable example of medieval engineering, is one of the many sites that you will discover with us at Undiscovered Tuscany.

Tuscany goes far beyond beautiful landscape of rolling hills dotted with vineyards and olive trees, art treasures and architectural landmarks. Let us show the undiscovered beauty of this wonderful Italian region. A presto!

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