Walk 30. Across the Ponte della Villetta to Sambuca
The great bridge over the Serchio
Poggio - Sambuca - Sillicagnana - Villetta
Starting point: Poggio railway station, 400m.
Access: We recommend arriving by train from Lucca or Aulla. By car, as in Walk
28 from Lucca to Poggio: 57km (from Aulla: 48 km); to the railway station,
head toward Aulla/Camporgiano for a short distance. Return from Villetta
Walking times: Poggio railway station Poggio-Sambuca 45 min., to SiIlicagnana
45 min., to the Villetta railway station 1 hr.; total walking time 2½ hrs.
Grade: Easy valley walk on roads and paths. If you tend to get dizzy, it is
better to keep your eyes on the railroad tracks while on the bridge.
Refreshment: Bars in Poggio, Sillicagnana and Villetta.
Alternative: From Sillicagnana on the road to San Romano, there, go left toward »Camporgiano« and
left on an asphalt side-street down to the Serchio. Head upstream along the
gravel road, across the bridge, and to the other side to the Ristorante Mulin
del Rancone; from there to the Camporgiano railway station. An additional 2
Map: Carta dei Sentieri e Rifugi No. 101/102, Multigraphic Firenze.
In the heart of Garfagnana, there are two major eye-catchers: Small, dark
rocky mountains of volcanic origin, and the Ponte della Villetta. The long
railway bridge also offers a footpath secured by railings across the Serchio
- at a dizzying height and directly in front of the medieval village jewel
of Sambuca. From the Poggio railway station, head along the road, then left
onto a cobblestone path up to the main road. Go left across from the new church
into the village centre, 451 m. Next to a house with a loggia, go right down
Via delle Vigne to vineyards. In front of a shed, go left to an oak tree, then
right onto a road which leads to the large railway bridge. After crossing it,
go right downhill along a gravel road, and on it, turn sharply to the right
and under the bridge.
Directly afterward, head left on a meadow trail (chain) through gardens and
past a little house with a water container. In front of a farm, go right
up an asphalt road. There, turn left, cross a stream, and at a wash house,
left to Sambuca, 395m. Beyond the village, head right onto
a gravel road toward a fence, at a sign, head right, and on the red and white
marked path upward
along stone walls. Walk through brush to a gravel road (sign), go right for
a short way, then left. Pass a small house and - with an increasingly beautiful
view of the Apuane Alps walk to Sillicagnana, 491 m. Go
back to Sambuca. From
there follow the asphalt road to Villetta, 440m, and go
right to the railway station, 370m
This walk was reproduced by kind permission of Rother Walking Guide »Tuscany
North« by Wolfgang Heitzmann / Renate Gabriel, © Bergverlag Rother · Munich.
For more information and to purchase your copy of the full guide visit their
website at www.rother.de