Why Fabbriche di Vallico
- Ponte della Dogana
- Turrite Cava
- Church of San Giacomo Apostolo
- Devil’s bridge
- Borgo a Mozzano
The Ponte della Dogana (also known as Ponte Colandi) is in Fabbriche di Vallico, a small village near Fabbriche di Vergemoli.
We are in the province of Lucca, at the foot of the Apuan Alps, in the Garfagnana, a region rich in naturalistic and landscape beauty.
The Ponte della Dogana is a lesser-known monument, but it is one of Tuscany’s hidden gems, still off the beaten path of mass tourism. As is so often the case, this situation has allowed the authenticity of the location to be preserved! It was built during the fourteenth century over the Turrite Cava stream, at the point where it flows into a smaller stream.
A ten-meter-long stone bridge with a lowered arch that links the two sections of Fabbriche di Vallico. Even though it is now flanked by other links, the Ponte della Dogana is still used by the village’s residents on a daily basis. The town’s southern section, beyond the stream, is known as Colandi, which explains some of the work’s other names. Instead, the Turrite Cava torrent in this region served as the boundary between the Republic of Lucca and the Duchy of Modena, hence the reference to customs. As a result, the Colandi Bridge served as a barrier between the two ancient states, and customs procedures were conducted nearby.The actual customs house, which is still visible today on the southern side of the Colandi Bridge, was built in conjunction with it. There was also a small cell (which I haven’t been able to find) where the tax evaders were finally imprisoned. While the structure’s state of conservation is generally excellent, some serious concerns about its durability have recently surfaced. As a result, the Ponte della Dogana underwent a major renovation project, which was funded by the municipality of Fabbriche di Vergemoli and completed in 2017.
Another “historic” house, adjacent to a restaurant, is a few tens of meters from the Colandi Bridge: an old mill that used the stream’s waters to manufacture flour.
This platform has also recently been rediscovered and can be visited by appointment. We suggest taking a stroll through the alleys of Fabbriche di Vallico because it is close by. Many late-medieval architectural features can be found in the ancient village’s narrow streets, which are full of fifteenth-century houses. A magnificent church dedicated to San Giacomo Apostolo, constructed only a few decades before the Ponte della Dogana, is tucked away in a labyrinth of alleys close to the main road.
UNIQUE EXPERIENCES IN Fabbriche di Vallico
Around Ponte Colandi, the most fascinating thing to see is probably the village of Borgo a Mozzano (15 kilometers from Fabbriche di Vallico), which is home to the most famous Devil’sBridge.
The Devil’s Bridge, or Ponte della Maddalena, in the small townof Borgo a Mozzano, in the Garfagnana region. An engineering feat that has always been shrouded in mystery, with unsettling legends circulating that attempt to justify the link to the devil in their own unique way. The most well-known legend, which dates back to the late Middle Ages, is the one about its building. According to legend, the master-builder entrusted with the building of the Devil’s Bridge was extremely late in completing the project. As he realized he wouldn’t be able to finish the job on time, he was devastated. One night, as he sat despondently on the Serchio’s banks, he saw Satan appear in front of him, who, as was his custom, suggested that they make a pact. The Devil should have built the bridge in a single night, relieving the master-builder of his burdens. He will, however, take hold of the first soul that went through him in exchange. The poor man was in such a desperate state that he refused to have it repeated again, and instead welcomed the evil one’s plan. He did, however, turn to the parish priest of the village the same evening, overwhelmed by guilt. However, overcome by remorse, he turned to the parish priest of the village that same evening, asking for advice. The two devised a devious scheme to fool the Devil. The Ponte della Maddalena was inaugurated the next morning, but a dog (or a pig or a goat, according to other versions of the legend) was chosen to cross it first, rather than a human. With all due respect to animal rights advocates, the Devil, enraged by the insult, hurled himself on the bottom of the water, vanishing forever and taking the poor beast with him. Even today, it is said that a white Maremma shepherd can be seen walking near the Devil’s Bridge on autumn evenings. It’s the devil, who still lingers in Borgo a Mozzano, waiting for his well-deserved reward: a human soul.