• Motrone. Porta ingresso


Medieval fortified town, conserving today elements of Medieval defense such as the beautiful stone gates at the entry to the town and the ruins of the Castello del Bucine, situated on a sheer, rocky spur above the Turritte Cava torrent. The parish church of San Giusto, dating back to 1260, when built as a fortress, can be reached by a steep set of steps. The church, as it is today, attained its current interior aspect between the 8th and 9th century after undergoing several restorations, while the decoration was completed in the 10th century. Inside, a valuable Agati organ of 1864. Motrone is the ideal starting point for excursions to the tableland of Lavacchielli, the Hermitage of San Ansano or to the Antro del Vasaio.

San Romano

Immersed in the greenery of the Turrite Valley, surrounded by the mountains sheltering it from the winds, we find the town of San Romano. Easily reached by the Provincial Fondovalle road, then via a comunale road, of 4.5 km starting at Turrite Cava. Its original name was Spulziano and was situated on the crest of the hill, later, following an epidemic of plague, the surviving inhabitants moved down the hill to where the current town is today, and there they built the church dedicated to San Romano. The inhabited centre is composed of harmonious, modest buildings with cobbled streets and houses upheld by arches and vaults. The local community, used to running its essential services, has conserved local community premises, such as the theatre, the oratory and the grand wash-house. The parish church, already mentioned in the records of 1260, has been recently restored, following roof damage caused by earthquake tremors. The church conserves a standard parish crucifix and several silver relics of the 18th century donated by Fra Romano Bernardini (a monk), buried in the Hermitage of S. Rocco on the road to Gioviano.


It dates back to pre-11th century and maintains today its ancient Medieval structure. By way of its narrow lanes that go round and round the town, we can walk uphill to the Castello, where at one time stood an ancient tower, built after the 1920 earthquake, or we can go down towards the “Sassolungo” to visit the parish church dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption. The church, extended over various eras, conserves decorative ceiling frescoes, the work of Pellegrino Lamberti, a painting of the Assumption and two ovals on the main altar. Coming out of the church after having walked along the path of San Rocco, you can visit the 16th-century Oratory which conserves several paintings of Saints and the ancient “Marks” of the Company. A short walk away is the Oratorio of San Bartolomeo, Romanesque Church tainted by various restorations.

  • Chifenti. Ponte delle Catene


The late Medieval Church of San Frediano was modified and extended several times before attaining its current structure between the 9th and 10th century. Of notable interest the internal fittings, including a shrine for Holy oils attributed to the workshop of Matteo Civitali and a canvas by the Lucchese artist Paolo Bianucci (17th century). The most important monument is the Ponte della Catene (Chain Bridge) one of the first suspension bridges to be built in Italy. The wooden and metallic walkway is held up by wire ropes suspended from pillars. The traditional form of the pillars, similar to the Roman and Napoleonic triumphal arches as well as the later technique of realization is characteristic of the architectural style of the bridge (1787-1851). The bridge was built on the order of Carlo Ludovico di Borbone, in 1836, when the Lima flooded washing away the original bridge. The Duke of Lucca also wanted the road to Bagni di Lucca, fashionable spa town of the time, to have an avant-garde structure, but the construction of the bridge was interrupted due to bureaucratic problems when the Duchy of Lucca became united to the Gran-duchy of Tuscany in 1847. The completion of the bridge, according to the plans of Nottolini, was carried out in 1860 by Bettino Ricasoli.


The località Castello is dominated by an imposing tower, today bell tower of the 6th-century Church of San Michele. Inside, near the main altar, a canvas by the painter Gherardo delle Catene of Modena, of Our Lady with Child and Saints Gregorio Magno, Giovanni Battista, Ansano, Michele, Pietro e Antonio abate, dated the first half of the 16th century, almost to decree the completion of the new church. Also notable, a canvas of the Circumcision by Alessandro Frediani of Lucca of the mid-7th century. Not far from the town you can find the Santuario di Serra, dedicated to Our Lady of Consolation. Recently restored, dating back to the early 6th century. Above the altar, a remarkable painting by Jacopo Mantovani, dated 1596, of Our Lady enthroned with Child, with the Saint Deacons Stefano and Lorenzo kneeling at her feet. A road, mostly unsurfaced, leads to the tableland of the Pizzorne, a vast wooded area of great botanical interest.

  • Anchiano. Chiesa di S. Pietro. Tabernacolo per oli santi


The town of Medieval structure was the stronghold of the Gothic Line during the Second World War. Today, the fortifications, are still intact, and are composed of various passages in an excellent state of conservation. The ancient parish church of San Pietro with a 16th-century bell tower is situated in the upper part of the town. A first record of the restoration of the church dates back to the 15th century, while the last one to 1850. The interior, in the form of a cross, contains an interesting 15th-century baptismal font and a tabernacle of the Andrea della Robbia studio. In the choir, the 15th-century triptych of Our Lady with Child and Saint Giusto and Saint Peter by Bartolomeo di Andrea Bocchi of Siena. Worth a visit – S. Giusto di Puticiano where you can find the ruins of the Church, the hamlet was devastated by the plague around 1500.


The town is situated at the foot of Monte Bargiglio, in a panoramic position. The church dedicated to S. Bartolomeo conserves canvases of the Marracci school (17th cent.) a painting on wood of the Toscana school (15th cent) a marble shrine (16th cent) and a wooden polychrome statue of San Bartolomeo (14th cent). Near Cune, the church of S. Bartolomeo, also known as the “Hermitage of S. Bartolomeo”, a little church with a single nave and apse similar to those found in the diocese of Lucca in the course of the 12th cent. In front of the church, a massive bell tower, built in a more rustic style, compared to the square conches that characterize the church. To visit in the vicinity of the Hermitage, the summit of Monte Bargiglio with the ruins of the ancient tower, focal point of the lookout and communication system of the Republic of Lucca and for this reason known as “the eye of Lucca”. In recent years, on the nearby Monte Agliale, an important astronomic observatory has been set up. In Località Catureglio, the ancient Villa Mansi (today private mansion), summer residence of the Mansi family, is known for the legend of the beautiful but wicked Lucida, a legend which is re-enacted each year on Halloween night along the streets of Cune.


The Church of Sant’Ilario, originally small and west facing and later extended and modified various times, maintains little evidence of its Romanesque construction. One of which is the slab inserted in the present left transept, sculptured in bas-relief with stylized human figures. The interior, completely redecorated in the 9th century, conserves a wooden 6th-century statue of Santa Cristiana, at the time placed in the near-by Church dedicated to the Saint. In the centre of the village, the ancient covered wash-house.


Originally a Medieval fortress in a strategic position dominating the Serchio and Lima Valleys. The village maintains the characteristics of an ancient Medieval hamlet with its tightly grouped houses, stone archways and narrow cobbled streets. Situated at the top of the hill, the ruins of the ancient fortress and the round tower. The church, built between the 11th and 12th century, has a beautiful marble bas-relief façade; inside, a white marble font, valuable vestments, altar cloths and holy vessels. The church opens onto a spacious presbytery, once seat of the castle Lords. In the huge kitchen, a large stone fireplace of 1503, with a 4 “stoke hole” oven.

Pieve di Cerreto

The Parish Church of Cerreto is initially recorded in 995. The Church is relatively isolated from the rest of the parish, surrounded only by a group of houses built after its construction. Despite impressive interpolations which are difficult to make out, the façade and structure can be dated between the end of the 11th century and beginning of the 12th century for the decorative style, the tower bell connected to the church through a high arch under which the original path passed and for the form and craftsmanship of the squares of white Limestone, perfectly evident in the apsed head. Of particular interest the apse with pensile arches, three slit windows surrounded by symbolic sculptures. Inside, a single nave, a simple hexagonal baptismal font, while the fittings have been practically all moved to the church of Cerreto below.


From here, a magnificent view of the hard “bump” of the Devil’s Bridge. Notable, the Church of S. Giovanni Battista that between 1548 and 1582 gained the title and function of a Parish. Extended in the 7th century, it houses the painted wooden statue of Our Lady with Child of the 15th century by Francesco Valdambrino.

  • Borgo a Mozzano. Ponte della Maddalena detto del Diavolo

Borgo a Mozzano

The Maddalena Bridge (commonly called the Devil’s Bridge) built on the order of the Countess Matilde di Canossa in the 13th century, represents with its suggestive structure, one of the main attractions and symbol of the valley. The grandeur of its central arch has always been so impressive as to create stories and legends, among which that it was the Devil’s work. Reliable historical information on its construction is scarce. Nicolao Tegrimi, in his biography on Castruccio Castracani, attributes its construction to Matilde di Canossa (1046-1125) and refers to a restoration on the part of Castruccio Castracani (1281-1328). In 1526, on the left bank of the river, the hermitage of the Maddalena was built, from which the bridge takes its name. The historical centre maintains notable architectural and monumental traces of its past splendour as administrative centre of the Republic of Lucca in the Middle Serchio Valley. Notable churches: San Jacopo, distinguished by its massive Medieval bell tower called “delle Caminate” built as a fortification and modified at the end of the 16th century. The Church, with a nave and 2 aisles and Doric pillars houses a precious glazed terracotta statue of the Maddalena by Andrea della Robbia, a San Bernardino da Siena of the 15th century attributed to Matteo Civitali or to Vecchietta of Siena, the glazed set of the Annunciation, the work of Benedetto Buglioni and the inlaid wooden altar of the rosary attributed to the local craftwork of Santini di Cerreto; the Church of San Rocco, built in the 6th century and notably modified at the end of the 8th century contains 9th-century frescoes by Luigi Ademollo; the convent of San Francesco (1525) with its beautiful cloister and 6th-century frescoes. The Church of the Holy Crucifix (SS. Crocifisso) founded in the 5th century and notably modified in the 9th century, contains two terracotta statues from the early 5th century representing S. Antonio Abate and S. Giacomo and a wooden 6th-century crucifix.
Along the main streets of the town, it is possible to admire various buildings: Palazzo del Vicario. Today the Municipal hall, Palazzo Pellegrini, the former Town Hall and today seat of the Union of the Municipalities, Palazzo Santini, the public library, Palazzo Salvi, former convent of the sisters of St. Teresa. Since 1995 the former railway station has been the site of the Memorial Museum, displaying the first proposals for the development of the fortifications of the Gothic Line which are well preserved in this area. A visit to this museum should be considered a fitting conclusion to complete a tour of the tunnels, bunkers and gun emplacements of the fortifications.