The Legend of the Devil's Bridge on the River SerchioMysteries & Legends
The Legend of the Devil's Bridge on the River Serchio
As the Italian idiom affirms, devils and bridges often travel hand in hand in legends and mysteries... Bearing these words in mind, we would like to tell you the story of the Magdalene Bridge on the River Serchio - in Borgo a Mozzano – also known as the Devil's Bridge. It is an admirable work of medieval engineering that hides a disturbing legend...
It has been said for centuries that the construction of the bridge was finished by the devil who, in exchange, wanted to have the soul of the first person who crossed it… but let’s put first things first.
The construction of the bridge was entrusted to an expert foreman who, despite working day and night, quickly realized that he could not complete the work on time. In desperation, the man sat down on the river bank where the Devil himself appeared in front of him. Coherent to his personality, the devil asked him to make a pact: he would finish the construction of the bridge in a single night in exchange for the soul of the first person who would cross it. The man accepted the proposal and the devil kept his promise: the day after the bridge was ready!
At this point, however, the foreman, devoured by remorse, forbade the inhabitants from crossing the bridge before sunset, and then consulted the priest of Lucca for advice about what to do. Together, they devised a very cunning plan: to respect the diabolical pact and make a pig cross the bridge first (or either a dog, according to another version of the story).
The deceiving plan worked to perfection and the Devil, once having recognized the trick, jumped into the waters of the River Serchio and was never seen again!
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