Today we set out to see some of the smaller villages around Lucca. First port of call was Borgo a Mozzano which is best known for Ponte della Maddalena also called “del Diavolo” (Devil’s Bridge). The Devil’s Bridge is located about one kilometre north of the town. According to the historical notices beside the bridge it was first built to provide the Lombards with safe passage through their territories avoiding conflict with other tribes of the area. Then the present day bridge with its extraordinary engineering was commissioned by Countess Mathilde di Canossa in or around 1500. The bridge’s majestic structure attracts thousands of tourists every year.
The legend/myth about the bridge is that when the bridge was being built the devil said to the people of the village that he would enable the bridge to be built if he could have the first soul to cross the bridge. This troubled the Mayor until an old farmer said go ahead with the bridge I will give up the first soul. The bridge was built and the farmer told everyone to stay clear while he coaxed his pig to cross the bridge. The devil was so irate he threw himself off the bridge and never returned.
After spending an idyllic hour eating a picnic lunch under the trees near the bridge we pushed on to find a hot water spring Pra del Lama shown on our map. We searched high and low to find this spring even to the point where we were confronted with a track along the spine of a hill which I think even the Romans rejected. But we lived to tell the tale. Instead we ended up in Sillico (I think we were silly co), a pretty village on the peak of a hill/mountain where we got some great photos.