Lucchio rises along the SS12 of the Abetone and the Brennero, it is easily reachable from Lucca.
The rock, the stone of the medieval village and that of the fortress fused together generate a dark Medieval image and make of Lucchio one of the most scenographic hidden treasure of Tuscany. Calling this place 'hidden' is not enough, coming from Lucca it's already impossible to see the village, carved in the stone of the mountain on the side looking towards Pistoia, or the castle, completely joined with the rocks.
A different scene appears for those who come from the opposite direction, passing Popiglio, something on the rocky slope of the mountain will catch your attention: are the houses of Lucchio, crowned by the scarce remains of the once powerful castle.
Traveling throughout the winding and narrow road, that still today is the unique access to the village, let us understand how impregnable was this place. An old popular saw of the zone does not need any comment: ... the women of Lucchio must put a bag to the tail of the hens in order to prevent to eggs to roll to valley...
The village is still today cut by narrow alleys and, after the abandonment suffered during the last decades caused from its inconvenient location and the poorness of the territory, it was slowly reborn from its ruins.
The scarce remains of the castle dominate the settlement. The fortification, dating back to the 11th century, developed during the feudal age on one of the most strategical positions of the whole valley. From here is possible to dominate the main road of communication between Pistoia and the Garfagnana that follow the course of the river Lima. The location of Lucchio Castle is one of most dramatic amongst all the Tuscan medieval strongholds. Its walls are digged in the rock, the stone buildings seem like an extension of the mountain, everlastingly swept by winds and still today difficulty to reach [pay attention to the steep small disconnected path, the only way of access] the castle of Lucchio was always object of popular legends.
The origin of the Castle is uncertain: perhaps, as the near village of Limano, it goes back to the age of the Countess Matilde di Canossa, or as it would indicate the name of some other villages of the valley [like 'Vico Pancellorum' or 'Panulegium', today Palleggio] we must search its origin in the Roman era, or simply was a fortification of a feudal families of the zone like the Suffredinghi or the Lupari or more, like other nearby places, was a Longbeard stronghold...
The only certainty is that in the 14th century Lucca turned Lucchio into its main stronghold to control the borders towards Pistoia. When the Florentines took control of part of the area, the castle lost some of its strategic importance and was abandoned. Some of the stones of the fortification were used to build the houses of the poor village born at its feet.
The ruins are visible for free, the breathtaking landscape that can be viewed from here worth the efforts made to reach the top of the rocks!