Countries province
Living History
Fragments of history
of the province
XI - XIV Century


Writing the entire story of Lucca and it’s rural areas, in a website is impossible, taking into consideration the immenseness of the subject, trying to tell it’s story synthetically in a few lines would mean repeating those four well known episodes, therefore, wanting to supply useful information to the lovers of history or just to the many people wishing to visit Lucca and it’s province, we will try to narrate in this site some fragments of this history.
These fragments of history, will include; some curiosities and the most famous events and people.
If while consulting this site you should find any incorrect information we will be pleased to hear from you at info@contadolucchese.it  and obviously correct our errors.
The river Serchio
The river Serchio is made up of various springs coming from the Apennines and Apuane alpes, meeting up a Piazza al Serchio and giving life to the to Toscana’s 3rd biggest river after the Arno and the Ombrone.  Now after passing through Garfagnana and the plain of Lucca, it flows into the Tirreno sea in the area of the San Rossore Park (PI) a little north of Pisa.  
In ancient times the Serchio flowed another way, joining the Arno river, this was told for the first time, by the Greek geographer Strabone (64ac to 121ac) in his geographical account in which he narrates the birth of Pisa, which came about between two joining rivers, the Arno flowing down from Arezzo and the Ausar flowing down from the Apennines.  Later on, also Plinio il Vecchio ( 23 to 79dc) spoke about it in his work “Naturalis Historia” saying; “The first city in Etruria is Luni, famous for its port, after which follows Lucca, far from the sea but nearer to Pisa, situated between the rivers Auser and Arno”, and in the VI century, Cassiodoro narrates in two of his letters how king Teodorico gave orders which maintained these two rivers navigable.
The river, once it reaches the plain of Lucca divides into several branches, the main branch running through the depression of Bientina and then ran into the Arno, the others ran together to form a marshy area in the plain.  The Romans were the first to begin its drainage, which will change the course of the river in Vth  century in an eastern direction and will be called Auserculus (later to be called Auserculo, Auserclo, Sercul, Serclo, Serchium, e Serchio).  Gregorio Magno, pope from 590 to 604 narrates in “Diologues” that he had heard of a miracle accomplished by Bishop Frediano which had taken place in Lucca,  that apparently had changed the course of the river Ausarit (named by Strabone “Ausar”) thus saving the city from flooding.
The origin of the antique name of the Serchio hasn’t been well defined by the Latin historian Svetonio, he declared that the Auser derived from Etruscan and its meaning was god or divinity, while modern day glottologists affirm that the name comes from Ausa (pre-ligurian) which means spring.  
 With the passing of the centuries, the eastern branch disappeared (today its name has been conserved in the Ozzeri, a channel that runs to the south of the city) and the western branch has become the Serchio that we know today.


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