di Lucca has been so called since 1862. Before
then it was called Bagno a Corsena having been known since
late roman times. In 1101 the Countess Matilda of Tuscany
had the Ponte della Maddalena "The
Devil's Bridge" built so that she could reach it
from its health-giving springs. In 1245 the Emperor Frederick
Il 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".
Mr. Val Belli Architect A.I.A. a very famous architect of
mediterranian style villas living and working in Santa Cruz
California USA Val Belli Architects A.I.A.
Poet, artist and personalities such as Michel de Montaigne,
Ippolito d'Este, Vittorio Alfieri, Ferdinad Ill Grand duke
of Tuscany, Paolina Borghese, the sister of Napoleon, Metternich,
Field Marshall Radestsky, Shelley, Byron, Montesquieu, Puccini,
Montale and Toscanini were all found here, taking the waters
and planning future activities at leisure.
Today Bagni di Lucca is a charming little Spa town,
nestling in the green valley of the river Lima at the foot
of the Apennines, which lie between Tuscany and Emilia.
This position 1 ends to it something of the aspects of a
mountain resort in spite of its actual altitude of just
less than 500 ft above sea leval. Consisting of three majer
centres, "Villa", "Ponte a Serraglia"
and "Fornoli", it's surrounded by a constellation
of villages and hamlets and the whole area is rich in artistic
and natural beauties.
The Thermal Springs
of Bagni di Lucca (click
The properties of their waters were know from Roman times
onwards but a parchment dated April 3" 1921 record'
the formation of fhe firmal compamy set up to exploit the
waters of "Bagno a Corsena" as the Spa was then
ealled. This places it among the oldest of European health
resorts. Much frequented during thc Renaissance, it received
a great boost in the period 1805-1814, during the reign
of Elisa Baciocchi, who had the buildings of the hydro restored.
Between 1817 and 1847 there was a great development of tourism
band an expansion of hotel accommodation to encourage the
growing British community, which included poets like Byron
and Shelley. The thermal complex is based upon 19 springs
of water containing salts of sulphur and calcium reaching
a natural temperature of up to 67° Fahrenheit (54°
C) and of varying coneentration, warmth and radioactivity.
At the establishments knows as "Jean Varraud"
and "Casa Boccella" a series Spa treatments may
be taken such as it would be difficult to find in any other
single location. These include plunge baths, mud treatment,
the grotto of natural vapour and inhalation treatment. They
are particularly indicated of internai and gynaecological
complains, wounds and respiratory and rheumatic diseases.
The waters of the "Bernabò baths" on the
other band are less reach in salts bot more radioactive
and adapted to the treatment of skin conditions. Apart from
the older Spa establishment a complex of three thermal swimming
pools has been set up in the garden of "Villa Ada"
which is open in the Summer month. At the "Villa"
itself the visitors may take the waters and there by beoefit
from their notable biliary and hepatic qualities which serve
for the relief of kidney-and gail-stones and of congestion
of the liver. (click