Skip to content
Devil’s Bridge
Photo © Photo Graphic Studio
Photo © Photo Graphic Studio

The Devil’s Bridge


In Borgo a Mozzano between history and legend

The Magdalene Bridge (Ponte della Maddalena), known as the Devil's Bridge, is one of the most original constructions in all of Tuscany and is located in Borgo a Mozzano, in the Serchio Valley.

Its singular profile, with its large round arch flanked by three other smaller arches, has inspired numerous artists and gave birth to legends about its construction.
Its soaring appearance, which still strikes those who admire it, must have been even more striking in the past, when the dam, that has raised the water level near the bridge since World War II, had not yet been built.

The Devil’s Bridge
The Devil’s Bridge - Credit: Myrabella

According to legend, the bridge was built by St. Julian who, unable to complete it because it was too difficult, asked the Devil himself for help, promising him in return the soul of the first living being to cross it. Once the bridge was finished, however, St. Julian threw a piece of flatbread over it, attracting a dog to it and thus deceiving Satan.

Certain historical information on the construction of the bridge is scarce. Nicolao Tegrimi, in his biography of Castruccio Castracani, attributes its construction to Matilda of Canossa (1046-1125) and reports a restoration by Castruccio Castracani at the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries. According to some hypotheses, the minor arches of the bridge were built in masonry during Castruccio's rule, replacing earlier wooden structures. This could explain the difference between the major and minor arches, as well as the different slope of the street on the left side of the bridge, built from the pre-existing arch.

More attractions in Borgo a Mozzano