Only 20 Km from Lucca, in the location of Borgo a Mozzano, there is a magnificent bridge with the sembiance of the back of a donkey, constructed in the 12th Century by the will of Countess Matilde di Canossa.
This bridge seems to challenge the forces of gravity and it has defied the several overflows of the Serchio River.
Is the bridge truly a diabolic construction as legend has it?
Legend states that many, many years ago, a good master builder who lived along the River Serchio was asked to build a bridge. The man went immediately to work but soon realized that the work was not proceeding as quickly as planned and as he had told his fellow townsmen, and as he was respectful to his word and to his promises, he fell in despair.
The man began working constantly, day and night, but the job wasn’t proceeding according to program and the days went by quickly. One evening the Master builder was sitting on the shore of the river and while he was pondering the humiliation and the dishonor for not having finished the bridge according to the timetable, the Devil appeared to him dressed as a respectable business man. The Devil went towards the master Builder and said that he was able to finish the bridge in just one night. The Master builder continued to listen to him until he finally accepted the proposal of the Devil; the Devil was to finish the bridge and the Master builder was to hand over the soul of the first person who crossed the bridge.
The next day the bridge was finished and the crowd went towards the master builder to thank him for his work, and the Master Builder asked all not to cross the beautiful bridge until the sun set. Having warned all, the master builder went to Lucca on his horse to consult with the Bishop.
The Bishop told the Master Builder not to worry and to let the devil take the soul of the first to cross the bridge and that the first to cross the bridge was to be a pig. A pig was in fact forced to cross the bridge and the Devil, irate for having been tricked, threw himself into the waters of the River Serchio and was never to be seen there again.
The Devil’s Bridge of Borgo a Mozzano has become famous in all of Italy as the meeting point to celebrate Halloween. Initially only a few Tuscan youths, especially from the area of Lucca, Pisa and Livorno dressed as witches, monsters and Vampires to meet here and celebrate this splendid and gloomy piece of architecture.
Recently the celebration has begun to include the entire weekend from the 29th to the 31st of October of every year, and in Borgo a Mozzano they organize an authentic Halloween celebration.
Caterina Pomini from http://www.inyourtuscany.com
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