Mysterious Garfagnano

Jul 19, 2019 381

Since both my driving and language skills are severely challenged in Italy, I always hire Marcello, a driver/interpreter, when I’m researching a new novel. A few years ago, Marcello and I were speeding along the highway hugging the western bank of the Serchio River north of Lucca when we saw a mammoth stone footbridge at Borgo e Mazzano. Its beautiful humpback shape was obviously the work of many experienced craftsmen.

“Wow! What’s that?” I asked. “The Ponte della Maddalena,” Marcello said. “But nobody calls it that. It’s Ponte del Diavolo.” The Devil’s Bridge? With a straight face, Marcello went on to tell the story. Sometime in the Middle Ages, he said, a master builder was contracted to build a new bridge across the Serchio, a lovely winding river that flows through the mountainous region called the Garfagnana.


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