The town of Ponte a Moriano is a useful stop on the way from Bagni di Lucca to Lucca. Avoiding those somewhat daunting tunnels, one turns off the slip road showing the sign to the area and, after passing some fine art nouveau villas on the left, enters into Ponte a Moriano. (It’s also possible to take the right turn just before crossing the Rivangaio Bridge).
Tuesday mornings is a good time to stop at Ponte a Moriano because it’s market day. Actually, last Tuesday the market was literally a washout. We’ve had some days of incredibly inclement weather culminating early this morning into a sequence of thunder claps that made our bed tremble and lightening that illuminated the night sky into a giant lantern.
Ponte a Moriano means ‘Bridge in the Moriano locality’ and the actual bridge itself is called Ponte di Sant’Ansano. In the centre of the bridge are the statues of the Virgin and Saint Ansano:
This year the bridge celebrated its nine hundredth birthday. Of course, the present bridge isn’t the original one of 1115. It was built in 1828 by engineer Giacomo Maracci and architect Giovanni Lazzarini after a river flood destroyed the old one. I’m sure that, despite all the recent rain, the current bridge will, again, hold its own.
Around Ponte a Moriano’s Main Square there are a number of interesting buildings and shops. Dominating it on the east side is the Nieri theatre (named after the poet from Empoli, Ippolito Nieri (1652-1708)), a fine art deco building, dating from 1930 and used as a cinema until the 1970s, which has a regular programme of plays and shows.
Continuing in a clock-wise direction there’s the post office, followed by the euro shop. I always use this shop for small articles like sellotape, screwdrivers and the like. At this time of year, of course it’s filled with witches’ hats and giant spiders since Halloween threatens to shortly descend upon us.
On the west side there’s a restaurant, da Pinza, which rarely disappoints. On this visit we discovered another shop near to da Pinza. The shop front hosted a display of art works including paintings and clay statuettes which looked very appealing. It’s run by the ‘Associazione Anni d’Argento’ (silver years association a national pensioners’’ organization) who have had this place for around four years and aims to provide pottery and painting courses to the community in addition to advice on social and medical matters. The association also organises trips to interesting historical cities.
Here are some of objects d’art we discovered in this shop last Tuesday. Not all are for sale!
If you are interested in developing, or even starting, your artistic skills in pottery and art then do contact Carolina Franchi o 0583 57345 or Maria Rosa Vitolo on 583 577861.
Ponte a Moriano is also the place to park your vehicle if you want to join the shuttle bus service to the Convento dell’Angelo where Kuhn’s music academy hold courses and provide beautiful musical settings of the church services at Easter and Christmas. (see my post at
So don’t miss out on Ponte a Moriano in your next trip to Lucca!