When many think of an old bridge in Italy, Ponte Vecchio in Florence comes to mind. Although the name means Old Bridge, the covered bridge crossing the Arno River and housing jewelry shops is a picturesque icon.
For me, my special old bridge is Ponte della Maddalena (Bridge of Mary Magdalene) crossing the Serchio River just south of Bagni di Lucca. Built during the medieval period, this unique walking bridge made of stone is one I had to revisit. It’s specialness is partially due to its look and location between the lands of my paternal and maternal sides of my family, but I also have pictures, postcards, and a framed etching of this bridge. Interestingly, this landmark is actually better known as Ponte del Diavolo – Devil’s Bridge.
The ancient bridge carries a legend. My research shows various versions, but with commonalities. In order to complete the bridge, whoever made a deal with the devil, but in return, the devil wanted the life of the first to cross the bridge. The devil completed the bridge, so an animal was sent across – which the devil snatched, then angrily left and never to return.
Even though this area is very scenic, like any river, heavy upriver rains can create a flood. As one can tell, even the torrent water of this late-2012 flood, the bridge remains standing.
During my recent trip to Italy, I had to see this beautiful legend, just as I last did in 1964 – including a walk to the top for a wave from afar.
For more photographs for this wonderful landmark
Cheers to the collection from Google Images.