Ponte della Maddalena (detto Ponte del Diavolo)

Ponte della Maddalena (detto Ponte del Diavolo)

Ponte della Maddalena (detto Ponte del Diavolo)
4.5
About
Constructed during the era of the Countess Matilde di Canossa (1046-1115,) this medieval bridge that spans the Serchio River is said to have been built with the aid of the devil himself.
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Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles871 reviews
Excellent
578
Very good
254
Average
30
Poor
6
Terrible
3

AngloItalian78
Aylesbury, UK435 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
The Serchio valley offers some of inner Tuscany's most spectacular vistas and scenery and is worth driving round, especially if you have a hire car and are visiting the wider Florence and Lucca region.

The Devil's Bridge (more prettily named the Madeleine Bridge by some) is an impressive sight on the river as it goes through the little town of Borgo a Mozzano. As people have stated, aside from the bridge and a few restaurants and bars there isn't much to do here, but the food in one of the eateries was pretty good here and parking was fairly easy for us, maybe we got lucky, as we also just beat the rain.

Since the sky was turning from bright blue sunny to grey, dark and moody, we also managed to capture some wonderful photos, with beautiful reflections of the bridge and nearby buildings in the river which created an almost perfect mirror image in the water.

Highly recommended for a short stop on your pretty drive around Tuscany!
Written 11 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brun066
Florence, Italy12,726 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Family
I have crossed this extraordinary, scenic bridge several times, and each time I am admired by its strength combined with its elegance; but the last time (autumn 2023) I set out to delve deeper into the reason for such a demanding work.
The bridge is also known as the "Devil's Bridge"; but in fact, wherever a rather daring bridge was built in pre-industrial times, the legend was born that the devil himself built (or completed) it, in exchange for someone's soul. We only mention the similar case of the Teufelsbrücke, thrown onto the Reuss river near Andermatt (Switzerland), and also made famous by pictorial representations of the Romantic age, such as that of Peter Birmann (1824, now in Albertina, Vienna).
Therefore, the nickname of the Borgo a Mozzano bridge is not an isolated case.
But Andermatt's example can help us resolve a more interesting question: "why a bridge right here"?
In fact, in the case of Andermatt the construction of the Teufelsbrücke is largely justified. It helped open the Gotthard road (around 1220), and this revolutionized the road network on a European scale; as demonstrated by a memorable 1929 article by Charles Gilliard.
Nothing so decisive happened with the Borgo a Mozzano bridge. All internet sources repeat monotonously that the bridge was built by Countess Matilde of Tuscany, around the year 1100, and that the current appearance of the bridge is mainly due to the restoration carried out by Castruccio Castracani, lord of Lucca, around the year 1300. And these sources also repeat that the bridge was built to improve communications. Obviously, but what communications?
Let's start by excluding some hypotheses. The itinerary along the valley floor of the Serchio river would work - and has worked over time - very well, even without this bridge.
Instead, the hypothesis is valid that the bridge was justified to enter the valley of the Lima river (a tributary of the Serchio more or less in correspondence with the bridge). But keep in mind that the current highway which from the Lima valley floor reaches the Apennine ridge (Abetone Pass) and from there descends towards Modena, is not a medieval construction, but from the end of the 18th century.
So, what justified the construction of this bridge?
The answer could be the nearby “Bagni di Lucca”.
In fact, this spa center "works" and has been renowned since the early Middle Ages (according to other interpretations, since the Roman Republican age). But the available sources allow us to state that the take-off of Bagni di Lucca is more or less contemporary with the opening of the Borgo a Mozzano bridge.
In the past, spa resorts (since medical knowledge was very primitive) had even greater importance than today. They attracted travellers, and particularly upper-middle class travellers, who came for treatment. Think of another famous Swiss case, that of the Gemmi Pass, which led to the Leukerbad spa, and which justified the opening (or improvement) of a very daring trail, which has been defined as "the scariest in the Alps".
Therefore, Devil's Bridge and the Bagni di Lucca spa are closely connected. In my view this is the most convincing hypothesis.
Written 8 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Angelo S
Hilliard, OH3,647 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
Excellent example of medieval construction, the bridge has four spans and gives a great view of the river. It is a relatively easy climb to the top, and if your visit is timed correctly you can see one of the local trains passing under the bridge. Great sport for a picturesque lunch. Definitely worth a stop if you are in the area.
Written 12 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

fssutton1
Charleston, SC871 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Couples
Must see. If you are in Lucca take the time to see this historic bridge. This is really amazing. Limited parking on only one side of the bridge opposite the village
Written 22 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Roberto
Austria375 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
It is a normal bridge with a special slope. However, it has a brilliant impression at night when the river is quite calm
Written 8 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

swatikavi
New York City, NY69 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022 • Family
Amazing view of the bridge near Lucca city on the way to Pisa. We took a small detour. It is 1 hr away from Pisa. The reflection of the bridge in the water. Makes it more beautiful. There is free parking nearby.
Written 19 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sam1992uk
London, UK19 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020 • Couples
While there are indicated “parking spots” any vehicle that will not have received a lift kit will scratch the bottom of the car. This of course ruined my experience at the location. Also if there is a member in your group who’s afraid of heights crossing a bridge would be a nightmare for them.
Written 4 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Don H
Huntington Beach, California, United States837 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019 • Friends
This is now a walking path but still is a beautiful archectrial structure. Many myths abound as to how the bridge became bent in the middle.
Written 24 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

missyrobbins
Austin, TX136 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019 • Couples
Amazing pictures in a tranquil area of the valley. 12 th century bridge worth a stop if you have a car.
Written 21 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Razorfish
Little Rock, AR3,866 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2018
My wife and I saw the Devil’s Bridge as we traveled on the train to Ghivizzano from Pisa. Two days later we went to Borgo a Mozzano to see the Gothic Line Museum and the Devil’s Bridge. The architecture of the bridge is stunning. I was enthralled by the atmosphere of the bright colors of a brilliant autumn afternoon as we walked over the bridge and took a large number of photographs. It was very picturesque.
Written 12 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Ponte della Maddalena (detto Ponte del Diavolo) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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