The itinerary suggested below passes through the Lima Valley and along the river Lima which flows into the Serchio before rushing through the Apennines in a series of spectacular waterfalls and rapids. As well as feeding power plants which have been in operation since the start of the last century, this river is also the ideal place for rafting enthusiasts. It’s possible to raft from either the Mammiano suspension bridge or the Casabasciana bridge to the Serraglio bridge down river.
Bagni di Lucca There is a wonderful view of Lucca from the terrace of Bernabò. The river Lima winds its way between the houses and past the town’s three main land marks: the lovely nineteenth century Serraglio bridge, the elegant villas and gardens on the Corsena and Bagni Caldi, the historical thermal spa. A stroll though the town reveals an eclectic mix of architecture such as Villa Fiori, Villa Reale, Villa Ada, Villa Reali dei Baciocchi and the Demidoff Hospital, which was built by a Russian prince who regularly came and enjoyed the benefits of the thermal waters here. Rain water filters through the rock in this area and stays there until immense pressure pushes it out, full of minerals, crystal clear, odourless and deliciously warm.Not far from Bagni di Lucca is Borgo a Mozzano, home of the noteworthy Maddalena Bridge. This bridge is not only famous for its architecture, but also for the legend which surrounds it.
Cocciglia When the snow melts and the waters rise, powerful whirlpools form here around the rocks. Visitors to Cocciglia can admire this force of nature from the footpaths near the bridge.
San Cassiano On the right bank of the river Lima are several places of worship. The first is the church of San Cassiano in Controne. Of the original eighth century church, only the bell tower is still standing today, although in 1907 a new church was added on to it. The façade of the church is decorated with carvings of ribbons, fish, flowers, serpents and a group of ferocious wolves under which Moses is depicted in prayer. Further on is the Medieval church of Corsena, the church of San Gimignano (which has a single nave), the church of San Giovanni in Controne (which has a double façade), the Church of Santa Maria in Palleggio and the Oratory of Santa Maria della Quercia in Pian degli Scalchi (which has a lovely wooden chancel).
Botri The river Mariana and the river Ribellino flow fast and furious from the slopes of the Apennines, bringing masses of materials down with them and eventually joining the river Pelago. The waters flow through a steep and narrow canyon carved out of the rock over thousands of years. This canyon is called ‘Orrido di Botri’. It’s only possible to go up this part of the river in the summer when the weather permits and when the level of water is down. Guides take visitors through this majestic scenery of white waters and luxuriant vegetation.
How to get from Bagni di Lucca to Montefegatesi: Go up the Lima Valey from Ponte Serraglio. Just before reaching Cocciglia, there is a sign to San Cassiano in Controne. Take this road on the left and keep going until you reach San Gimignano. From here, go up towards the Apennines following the signs for Montefegatesi.