Bagni di Lucca, a renowned spa and destination for lovers of outdoor sports
Bagni di Lucca is a town in the Media Valle del Serchio located about 28 kilometers from Lucca. The village is on a valley floor along the course of the Lima River; this is an area inhabited since ancient times as evidenced by some finds dating back to the Bronze Age. This area has always been inhabited over the centuries, first by indigenous peoples who also came into contact with the Etruscans and Ligurians, then by the Romans and the Lombards. In medieval times the area was controlled by some noble families until, in the thirteenth century, it passed under the dominion of Lucca.
The thermal baths in Bagni di Lucca
The thermal springs of Bagni di Lucca have been known since Roman times and for this reason they are among the oldest in the world. Famous for their healing properties, over the centuries these spas have attracted countless visitors and also several illustrious people.
The thermal waters gush out in a natural cave at a very high temperature and are used above all for the treatment of respiratory and rheumatic pathologies. In the Bagni di Lucca spa it’s also possible to take advantage of various beauty treatments, massages etc.
What to see in Bagni di Lucca
Overlooking the Torrente Lima in a picturesque way, Bagni di Lucca preserves some buildings of sure interest. Among these we can mention the Casino which is one of the oldest in Italy, the ponte delle Catene that allows you to cross the Lima and the cappella Demidoff (1825), a lovely neoclassical temple that was built by the Russian prince Niccolò Demidoff together with a hospital for the reception of the poor who went to Bagni di Lucca for spa treatments.
Things to do in Bagni di Lucca
Today, Bagni di Lucca is known and highly appreciated, especially among the younger ones, for the great variety of activities and sports that can be practiced in the open air immersed in the nature of the place. In Bagni di Lucca there are in fact many things to do: a few years ago I did a rafting on the Lima River with my friends and it was a lot of fun to juggle rapids and waterfalls (obviously with the help of the guide, otherwise at this time who knows what happened to us!).
Along the stream there are also points where you can try some diving and points of truly remarkable beauty such as the Strette di Cocciglia, where the water has smoothed the rock creating spectacular shapes. Here there is also the so-called Laguna Blu, a natural swimming pool which is accessed from a stony beach, perfect for a swim in the summer season.
In Cocciglia (fraction of Bagni di Lucca) I also would like to point out the presence of the Canyon Park, an adventure park organized along the gorge of the stream with Tibetan bridges, cableways and much more!
In conclusion, in Bagni di Lucca there are activities that can satisfy both the most reckless and dynamic (rafting, canyoning and aquatrekking) and those who want to relax between a swim in the stream and a treatment at the spa.
For more information on Canyon Park, I refer you to the official website.
What to see around Bagni di Lucca
In the surroundings there are many interesting places to see. There is a lot of nature, picturesque villages and monuments of great importance: in short, there is something for all tastes! Let’s see what are some of the most interesting things to see around Bagni di Lucca:
- Ponte del Diavolo
- Orrido di Botri
- Pieve di San Cassiano
- Pieve di San Paolo
Ponte del Diavolo
Following the course of the Lima River you reach the confluence with the Serchio river and a little further on you will find the village of Borgo a Mozzano where you can admire the famous Ponte della Maddalena (also known as Ponte del Diavolo – The Devil’s Bridge), a fabulous medieval bridge , among the most beautiful (and photographed) in all of Tuscany, truly unmissable!
Orrido di Botri
If the nature of Bagni di Lucca and the Torrente Lima is not enough, I recommend you to visit the Riserva Naturale Orrido di Botri, a spectacular limestone gorge with walls up to 200 meters high.
Lucchio is a semi-uninhabited village that stands perched on the mountains. It is a magical place, out of time, away from everything and the hustle and bustle of modern life. Lucchio is also known as the vertical village because of the extreme slope on which it develops. On the top there are the remains of a medieval fortress from which you can enjoy a very wide panoramic view.
Pieve di San Cassiano
The Pieve di San Cassiano di Controni is the first documented church in the entire Val di Lima being mentioned in a document dated 722. The current church dates back to the period between the end of the 11th and the beginning of the 12th century. It is a monument of remarkable beauty with a facade very rich in details in which the reliefs that embellish the portal stand out, with human figures, animals and plant motifs.
Pieve di San Paolo
The Pieve di San Paolo is located in the hamlet of Vico Pancellorum and, like the other one, this also has a long history behind it since it exists at least from the year 873. The Pieve di San Paolo is in Romanesque style and has a very simple façade; inside you can admire a 15th century Crucifix, a wooden statue of Saint Paul and the remains of a fresco with figures of Apostles from the 14th century.
How to get to Bagni di Lucca
By train: Bagni di Lucca has its own railway station which is located on the Lucca-Aulla line.
By car: from Lucca you can reach the town with the Abetone strada statale 12 (it’s about 25-30 minutes).