Bagni di Lucca
 

 

The charming spa town of Bagni di Lucca, nestled in the Garfagnana valley, rises along the river Lima.   It has been known for it's thermal springs since the Etruscan and Roman times.  Bagni di Lucca is comprised of several of separate villages, known as early as the 10th century as the "Baths of Corsena", with springs containing salt and sulphur with temperatures ranging from 37-54 C/99-129 F. The principal village is Villa, once a residence of the dukes of Lucca, with its own thermal spring. The village of Bagni Caldi is the most important spa, with a warm spring and the "Doccione" (54 C/129 F), in a cave.  The principal thermal baths are in the part of the town known as Bagni Caldi. There are also waterfalls  within walking distance where you can bath.

Bagni di Lucca's thermal baths have the only natural steam room in Italy with the steam seeping through the walls of rock.

 

Devils Bridge over the Lima River in Bagni di Lucca.
The Ponte della Maddalena, "The Devil's Bridge". over the Lima River was built in 1101 by the Contess Matilda of Tuscany so she could reach the health giving springs of Bagno a Corsena now known as Bagni di Lucca.

Some Historical Background on Bagni di Lucca

Cristallo Basni offers a true Italian dining experience in Bagni di Lucca.Bagni di Lucca is 28.6 kilometers (about 18 miles) North of Lucca.

First mentioned in local historical documents in 983 with a reference to a donation of the territory of Bagni di Lucca to Fraolmo of Corvaresi by the Bishop Teudogrimo.

Originally known as Bagno a Corsena the bustling spa resort town changed it's name in 1862 to Bagni di Lucca coming from the Latin word "Balneum" meaning "bath" for the many thermal springs surrounding the area.

In 1245 the Emperor Frederick II set out to visit it with all his court, while in 1304 the inhabitants of the Spa were exempted from military service so the thermal springs made Bagno a Corsena a European resort and it was christened "The ltalian Switzerland".

No holiday in Tuscany is complete without sever trips to the local Gelateria.Poets, artists and nobility such as Michel de Montaigne, Ippolito d'Este, Vittorio Alfieri, Ferdinand II, Grand Duke of Tuscany, Paolina Borghese, Elisa Baciocchi, the sister of Napoleon, Metternich, Field Marshall Radestsky, Shelley, Byron, the Brownings, Strauss, Listz, Montesquieu, Puccini, Montale and Toscanini were all found here, taking the waters. In the 18th and 19th centuries  there were particularly strong ties with England and Bagni di Lucca was an essential stop on the "Grand Tour".

The local economy is mainly derived from tourism so there are several fine hotels and accommodations in Bagni di Lucca as well as wonderful restaurants.

Among some of the more interesting sites to visit in Bagni di Lucca are the Casino, the Villa Fiori, the Foreigner's Club, the Academic Theatre, the Villa Ada, the Town Hall, the Villa Buonvisi and the Thermal Baths.

If you are visiting in Tuscany during the last Saturday in June you won't want to miss the traditional "Medieval Feast" held in the nearby district of Casoli.  Enjoy local Tuscan food, wines and be entertained by jugglers, acrobats and minstrels.
 

 
Click on any image for a larger view.

An English church in Bagni di Lucca.  The Lima River flows through Bagni di Lucca.
 

Today Bagni di Lucca is a bustling and charming little spa town. The baths have been renovated and offer a range of natural hot spring treatments. The town nestles in the lush valley of the Lima River in the foothills of the Apennines surrounded by picturesque mediaeval hilltop villages, many of which are worth a day's visit
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