Bagni di Lucca

October 6, 2014 / Places
Bagni di Lucca, Tuscany

The collection of villages called Bagni di Lucca has been around for centuries. Some of the mountain villages were settled by retiring Roman soldiers, but Bagni di Lucca’s heyday was the early 1800s when it was part of the Grand Tour, and educational rite of passage largely taken by young men of the British nobility and landed gentry.

Once rail travel became popular after the 1840s, overseas travellers joined in. Bryon and Shelley stayed in Bagni di Lucca and frolicked naked in little mountain pools. Puccini wrote some of his operas here. Franz Liszt played piano in the first casino in Europe, built in Bagni di Lucca in 1837.

The first casino in Europe

Now the villages are sleepy little hamlets scattered along the Lima River and clinging like limpets to the mountains on either side.

The prettiest of the villages is Ponte a Serraglio, home of the casino, which is now only open for weddings and events. Some of the thermal baths the area is famous for are also located here, just a short walk up the hill. The views along the way are wonderful.

Ponte a Serraglio from above

Ponte a Serraglio is an excellent place to base yourself for a stay in Bagni di Lucca. There are many accommodation options from hotels, B & Bs and apartments.

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There are lots of villages to explore. It is possible to do so by public transport, but this is a bit patchy and a car makes things much easier.

Be sure to visit Lugliano for some magnificent views. Walk through the narrow lanes along the ridge on top of a mountain.

Lugliano

Montefegatesi is the highest of the villages and famous for the statue of Dante at the top.

Montefegatesi

In Lucchio it is said that hens lay square eggs so they don’t roll away.

Lucchio

Bagni di Lucca is a fascinating village in northern Tuscany with plenty to hold your interest for at least a week.

by Debra Kolkka

Debra is a traveller and blogger who divides her time between Australia and Italy. She writes a blog called Bagni di Lucca and Beyond.

6 Responses to “Bagni di Lucca”

  1. Francesco Greco

    To enjoy more a stay in Bagni di Lucca, alternate your visits to the small villages with wonderful hikes in the “marble” mountains. You may go walking to the close Apuane Alps, maybe in company of my guide book: “The Alps of Tuscany – Selected hikes in the Apuane Alps, the Cinque Terre and Portofino”.
    Thank you and enjoy Bagni di Lucca!

    Reply
  2. I’ve been there to explore and paint. It is a wonderful treat not far by bus from Lucca. I look forward to being there again in 2015 with our painting group.

    Reply
  3. Anstell Ricossa

    Another magnificent spot in bella Italia…Certainly will be added to my “bucket list” !

    Reply
  4. bernadette higgins

    Bellissima! My list for magnificent Italia also gets longer and longer for my next trip. I may just have to live there yet!

    Reply
  5. Torre Newman

    Stayed in the area at a B&B for about a week and explored the area as you have suggested/described. What a lovely, lovely place. Even partook of the thermal clinic twice. Really enjoyable.

    Reply
  6. Debra,
    I can’t wait to visit Bagni di Lucca! Very high on my “list”! Roots nearby calling me! Your article is a further enticement….
    Grazie,
    Victoria

    Reply

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