Skip to content
Casa Museo Pascoli
Photo © R. Degli Innocenti
Photo © R. Degli Innocenti

What to see near Lucca

Ideas for a trip to the north through the Plain of Lucca and into Garfagnana

When I think of Lucca, I cannot help but smile. I still remember the first time I walked through the streets and alleys of the city. It was a Sunday and the squares were filled with stalls and tables for the usual crafts market. It may be that I am a fan of vintage gifts and clothes, but that atmosphere really surprised me. From that moment on, I always associate a good memory with Lucca. But it is equally true that there are beautiful places not far from Lucca that enable you to continue your journey, in search of characteristic bridges, castles and spas.

Contents
  • 1.
    Bagni di Lucca
  • 2.
    Borgo a Mozzano
  • 3.
    Montecarlo
  • 4.
    Capannori
  • 5.
    Barga

Bagni di Lucca

Ponte a Serraglio - Bagni di Lucca
Ponte a Serraglio - Bagni di Lucca - Credit: Wikimedia

Bagni di Lucca's hot springs have been renowned since Roman times, becoming famous in the time of Countess Matilda of Canossa, later attracting the attention of such illustrious figures such as Byron, Shelley, Carducci, Pascoli, Montale, Dumas, Strauss, Listz, Paganini, Puccini, and Mascagni, as well as politicians and popes. This small center, located in green Garfagnana, is rich in natural steam springs and caves, making it a paradise for those in need of specific treatments. In fact, the sulfate-bicarbonate-calcic waters of the Bernabò spring are curative, ideal for the treatment of skin diseases, rheumatic and respiratory diseases.

Borgo a Mozzano

Ponte del Diavolo
Ponte del Diavolo - Credit: Serena Puosi

On the outskirts of Garfagnana we also find Borgo a Mozzano, the small stone village taken by storm during Halloween, an occasion when a truly "spooky" and overwhelming festival is organized. Making Borgo a Mozzano the town of witches and ghosts is the renowned Ponte del Diavolo (the Devil’s Bridge) or of the Maddalena. The bridge is inextricably linked to a legend that attributes its construction to San Giuliano aided by the Devil. It is one of the most famous Tuscan stories.

Montecarlo

Fortezza di Montecarlo
Fortezza di Montecarlo (Montecarlo Fortress) - Credit: Alessandro Colombi

Food and wine enthusiasts can continue their journey to Montecarlo and make a stop to taste its wines. Montecarlo DOC can be both white and red, the former goes easily with appetizers, vegetable soups typical of Lucca, risottos and fish dishes; the latter goes well with all dishes of the most typical local food traditions, but in particular with roasts and game. Montecarlo wines are very balanced and fragrant, endowed with a distinct personality.

Capannori

Villa e Giardino Mansi in Capannori
Villa and Giardino Mansi (Villa and Garden Mansi) in Capannori

Capannori is located in a strategic position, between Altopiano delle Pizzorne, the Monti Pisani and the Plain of Lucca formed by the drainage of lake Bientina. Its territory is rich in numerous fortified places, castles and medieval towers, alternating with Renaissance villas with elegant and refined architecture. Built at an altitude that made it possible to cultivate vines and olive trees, the fortified sites were not only military garrisons, but real villages devoted to agriculture.

Barga

The view of the village
The view of the village

Barga is a small town orange flag characterized by a medieval layout, marked by a spider web of streets unraveling uphill. Following Via del Pretorio, to the right and left, you notice alleys and cart roads, parts of older buildings and perspective views until, passing Piazza Ser Barghesano, you have the vision of the Duomo di San Cristoforo (Cathedral of St. Cristoforo). From here you have an unforgettable view that it is worth the effort: you will see the beautiful profile of the Apuan Alps with Mount Forato in the distance.

Start your discovery

Must-see places, stage-by-stage routes, events and tips for your trip
Events • 86 results
Ideas • 526 results
Itineraries • 163 results
Travelogs • 13 results