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Photo Hunt: BRIDGES


I took this photo on my 2006 trip to visit Ida in her tiny village of Vico Pancellorum. The beautiful Maddalena's Bridge is also called "Ponte del Diavolo" or "Devil's Bridge" on the Serchio river near the town of Borgo a Mozzano. This bridge with its assymetrical arches is located near the town of Bagni di Lucca on the SS12 between Lucca and Abetone.

"Once upon a time a clever and respected master builder lived in a village on the banks of the Serchio River. The inhabitants of the village approached him, asking him to build a bridge to connect their village with the one across the river. He immediately set to work, but he soon saw that the work was not progressing as quickly as he'd promised his fellow citizens it would, and being a man of his word and one who always fulfilled his obligations, he became very unhappy and desperate. He continued to put great effort into the work day and night so as to finish the task within the time allowed for in the contract, but the work continued to proceed very slowly while the days flew by. One evening while the builder was sitting alone on the banks of the Serchio looking at the work and thinking of the shame and discredit he would suffer for not having completed it in time, the devil appeared to him in the form of a respectable businessman.

He went straight up to the builder telling him that he'd be able to finish the bridge in a single night. The man didn't believe what the devil was saying, but listened anyway, and in the end accepted his proposal. Naturally the devil wanted something in return: the builder was to undertake to give him the soul of the first person that crossed the bridge when it was completed. The builder accepted and the following day the village had its beautiful bridge that can still be seen today in Borgo a Mozzano."

The people were stunned and unable to believe what had been accomplished, and went to congratulate this craftsman who ordered them not to cross the bridge before sunset. In the meantime, the builder got on his horse, a little worried if the truth be told, and set off for Lucca to ask the Bishop for advice. At that time the Bishop was Saint Frediano. This saintly man told him not to worry and to allow the devil to take the soul of the first person to cross the bridge, and told him to let a pig cross first. This was done and the devil, furious at having been tricked, threw himself into the waters of the Serchio, and has not been seen in the area since.

From www.welcometuscany.it

Another bridge I discovered on that same trip was way off the beaten path. We took a ride to "Il Ponte Sospeso", (the point of suspension) near the tiny town of Mammiano Basso. We felt no need to walk across the bridge, and went for a gelato instead!



Comments (10)

Great photos. I loved the photo of the first bridge. But then when I saw the second one-wow! I don't think I would want to cross it either.

Barb Cabot:

What an amazing suspension bridge (they always scare the beeeegeebers out of me).I think they are amazing and wonder how they construct such things. I'd opt for a gelato too. great photos.


Great bridge photos, Palma!

I don't think I would walk over that suspension bridge either - maybe only if my life was on the line.


Wow, I showed this one to my husband and he too remembered it right away. We knew it around Lucca, most likely on our drive up to Barga.
I think it was Barga. Thanks for the nice memory!

The first bridge is beautiful. I love the story that goes with it. When I saw the second bridge, my first thought was "WHOA"! I probably would have gone for the gelato instead also! Great bridge photos :)

Great story and wonderful picture.

I don't think I'd ever show Paul that suspension bridge - he'd be over it in no time. When I was crossing it he'd start jumping up and down to make the whole thing shake. ARGH


I am slowly coming back from the dead as you well know Palma. Love your bridge photos,they make me homesick for Vico. As you know I've crossed the suspension bridge numerous times . Now it's easy without much movement as it was reinforced only about 5 yrs ago. When I used to cross it when I was young I could rock the bridge. My cousins used to do to try it also to scare me but never succeeded!


I'm with Paul - I love jumping up and down on suspension bridges (which perhaps explains why I seem to always travel alone....)

Great photos, Palma -- and I love the legend of the devil's bridge!

What a gorgeous bridge, and a very cool legend!

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