Water has always been a major influence on the development and the identity of the territory of Lucca. The three routes Proposed, in the green and easily accessible, along SOME waterways around the city and can be either connected paths on foot or by bicycle.
Monumental Fountains and the Nottolini Aqueduct
Since the days of the republic the need for an aqueduct was felt, but it is thanks to Maria Luisa of Bourbon if the work began. She entrusted the architect Lorenzo Nottolini, in 1822, to carry out the works which began in 1823 and lasted until 1851.
The aqueduct is about 3.2 kilometers long and 12 metres high, it has 460 arches of bricks and masonry which support two channels: one with the better water, for quality and purity, for public and private sources of Lucca, the other for the fountains. Every seventeen arches Nottolini has inserted a buttress for decorative and structural features. To date, while remaining largely intact, with the exception of six arches knocked down to allow the passing of the highway "A11", the aqueduct no longer has the capability to bring water to the city.
The water network is buried alongside the path of Nottolini.
The final part of the aqueduct that brings water to Lucca from Guamo, "il Tempietto" is actually a tank built between 1823 and 1825. It's a circular building in neoclassical Doric style. Here water was collected in a double marble basin and it was forced by massive metal pipes towards the city. In particular Nottolini planned a complex mobile system for the tank to preserve the iron pipes from breaking due to thermal expansion.
Designed and built by Nottolini, it was inaugurated in 1832.
It is founded on a low and wide tank in Carrara marble with grooves on the outer edge interrupted by masks in the shape of lion's head. Out of their mouths water pours into the basin below which reaches the pavement and which was added in 1836.
The tub is surrounded by pillars connected by metal bars for protection. At the centre a very high jet.
The water is of the civic aqueduct that supplies the whole historical centre.
This is the best known fountain in the city. Supplied by the aqueduct of Guamo, it is not difficult to see people of Lucca making supplies of this pure and light water for domestic use.
It was built between 1838 and 1840 on one side of the square to add beauty without hindering passing of carriages and wagons of the time.
It is composed of a high pedestal with three mouths that spout water on two sides into small hanging basins and in front into a tank resting on the ground on classical lions paws. On the base is the female statue of the Naiad for which Nottolini entrusted the sculptor Ferdinando Fontana from Carrara. Inspired by a "chaste Venus" located in the "Galleria Borghese" in Rome, the statue sparked such outrage that the bishop asked for its removal.
Fountain in Via del Fosso - Madonna dello Stellario
Built in 1856, this is a re-elaboration of drawings of Nottolini made by the Cesar Lazzarini. It consists in a cylinder of white limestone, a work of Demetrius Martinelli, with a swag decoration on the crown and two classical masks from which water gushes and is gathered in niches.
Fountain in Via del Fosso - Porta San Gervasio
Built in Via del Fosso at the same time as the other fountain in the street also on project of Demetrius Martinelli, designed by Nottolini. Supplied by the aqueduct of Guamo, it has the shape of a parallelepiped. Compared to the previous one it has an unadorned style with a high projecting cornice and a mask which represents Bacchus. The water gushes from his mouth and is gathered in a niche. It is enclosed by pillars and metal bars.
There are various fountains located in different parts of the city: Corso Garibaldi, Piazza S. Alessandro, Piazza XX Settembre, Via di Piaggia, Piazza Antelminelli, Piazza Anfiteatro.
They were installed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, to extend water supply to a large area of the city. They are on a rectangular base of stone from Guamo with a simple design, rounded at the top and with the arms of the municipality.
Recently they have been provided with taps to avoid waste, and similar fountains have been placed along the Walls of Lucca.been placed along the city walls.
Fountain in Via del Gonfalone
Designed in 1872 by architect Tucci, employee of the "Office of Art" of the town of Lucca, designed from a project of Nottolini, it was built around 1875.
Situated on an octagonal base with two steps, it has an obelisk shape.
The water gushes from a rosette in relief and it falls into a tub of classical form resting on lion's paws. It is surrounded, as others, by balusters with iron bars for protection.
Well of Santa Zita
A picturesque corner of Lucca is the well of Saint Zita in "Palazzo Fatinelli" in via Fontana. It is important for the city because this is where the Saint, the family's maid, came to draw water. The shaft is topped by a shrine with a relief of the seventeenth century, which represents the humble servant handing water to a beggar.
Fountain of Palazzo Pfanner
As the Palace and the garden in which it is located, the fountain dates back to the second half of the seventeenth century. The green area in front of the portico is divided into four areas of lawn, bordered by hedges, with a central large octagonal basin decorated with allegorical statues representing the four elements: Volcano (Fire), Mercury (Air)
Dionysus (Earth), Ocean (Water).
The Serchio River park
A countryside route tha winds along the banks of the River Serchio, starting in Monte San Quirico district by the bridge of the same name and heading north towards Ponte a Moriano and South to Ripafratta (Pisa). The realization of the redevelopment of the entire area, which has earned the city of Lucca the "Prize for Sustainable Cities 2000", gives green spaces equipped where interests meet sports and relaxation. Along the river it is possible to enjoy areas devoted to leisure activities, bicycle paths, horseback riding, rafting, canoeing and even soccer fields, bowling, archery and a remote control car race track. Also along the river Serchio you can meet rare plant species and elsewhere disappeared denoting an environment of great natural value. This important ecological corridor between the mountainous areas and the sea coast, established as a Protection Area, reserve some interesting observations of the fauna. The river offers ideal sites for shelter, feeding and reproduction of the species. The path eventually overlaps in part, pedestrian route Puccini, dedicated to the famous composer of Lucca, which develops from cells of Pescaglia (birthplace of the Puccini family) up to Torre del Lago (villa of the Master of Lake Massaciuccoli ).
From the Condotto Pubblico Water channel to the Piscilla canal and along the Ozzeri canal
The route starts from the Historic Centre, from the characteristic Via del Fosso where flows the city section of the duct public. This track, in the east of the city coincides with the gap in medieval times was to protect the city walls. This course has been for centuries an imported resource for manufacturing activities typical of Lucca, from shaping and coloring of tissues to various workshops and in more recent times, the production of paper, of which the water it is indispensable for processing . The waters of the Conducted public (in Corso Garibaldi flow under the roadway) outputs from the city they enter the channel Piscilla which flows south into the channel Ozzeri, a historically important channel that follows a path at the foot of the hills and mountains (Monti Pisani) which divide the plain of Lucca from that of Pisa. The Ozzeri, navigable in antiquity, was the main channel of a network of ditches that besides regimare and collect the large amount of water, alluvial, which was rich in the plain of Lucca, linking the ancient basin of Lake Bientina with the Serchio river in the west of the city.
From this confluence (Piscilla-Ozzeri) winding two suggestive paths: one to the east is directed first towards the aqueduct Nottolini and then continue in the territory of Capannori and the other to the west goes precisely to the river Serchio, both nature trails and landscape of considerable value, especially to understand the historical importance of the small countries that have crossed the example of the fragmentation of land ownership already built in Roman times (the rural court: house, hut, garden and field).