A tale of two bridges

Paloma, our motorhome has once again hit the jackpot, with a free stopover, free services and better still free electric!

We are parked next to the river in the small Tuscan village of Chifenti. (N44.004810 E10.563220).

Free motorhome parking Tuscan village of Chifenti. (N44.004810 E10.563220).
Literally right behind the motorhome is the ‘Ponte della Catene’ also known as 

“The chain Bridge.”

Ponte della Catene, Italy - European motorhome blog

It spans the Lima River in Tuscany, connecting the towns of Fomoli and Chifenti. 

In the nineteenth century, royal architect Lorenzo Nottolini designed this footbridge fot Duke Carlo Ludovico, who sought to have the grandest of entranced to Bagni di Lucca’s thermal baths. 

Ponte della Catene by motorhome
Nottolini, who had traveled to England and Germany to study new construction techniques, created a suspension bridge with its massive sandstone arches all laced together with iron chains. 

Ponte della Catene - massive chains - motorhome blog
Sadly during  World War II, bombs damaged the metal links and road surface of the Bridge, it was eventually repaired in 1953 and reopened but again fell into disrepair and it wasn’t until the early 2000’s that complete repairs were made and the bridge fully usable again. 

About a 3km walk from the aire de Sosta stands a stunning bridge that appears as if it’s lunging to the shore, and has a spooky legend….

“The devils bridge”

Its official name means the Bridge of Mary Magdalene, yet it’s better known by its more devilsh nickname. 

Bridge of Mary Magdalene,Italy
This comes from its strange shape, a feat of engineering for the 11th century when it was constructed. It spans 131 feet over the Serchio River and is 60 feet tall at the peak of its highest of the five random sized arches.

3km from the free motorhome parking is Bridge of Mary Magdalene
The story goes that the Countess Matilde di Canossa commissioned it so she could reach the thermal baths. 

But the  popular legend is alot more fun.  

Just a short walk from the Camperstop is Bridge of Mary Magdalene
The villagers, facing difficulties in completing the construction of the bridge, made a pact with the devil to finish it.

In exchange he would get the soul of the first to cross it! Supposedly, the clever townspeople sent a dog over first, although it’s unclear if the poor dog then faced hell and eternal damnation or if it cheated the devil who just moved on to try and get a soul or two elsewhere. ……


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Pinterest- ultimate motorhome blog to the parked next to the river in the small Tuscan village of Chifenti. (N44.004810 E10.563220).

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