Lucca-Pontedera Bagni di Casciana ex-Railway

Owner of the abandoned railway:
Italian Railways of the State (Ferrovie dello Stato)
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The Lucca – Pontedera ancient railway, a project of 25.3 km line long, was inaugurated in October 1928, after 6 years of works. During the Second World War the line was destroyed by bombing by the allies. Even if the line was largely rebuilt, in 1958 was officially abandoned. The track, generally covered by spontaneous vegetation, is not always visible. The line passed through the cities of: Lucca, Parezzana Toringo, San Leonardo-Sant’Andrea, San Ginese-Pieve di Compito, Colle di Compito,Buti-Cascine, Vicopisano-Bientina, Calcinaia, Pontedera. Many of the existing bridges have collapsed. In the old railway stations it is possible to admire several ruins, such as the Subalvea gallery, that passes under Visona Torrent. Near the city of Calcinaia, there is a bridge over the Arno river: 2 of 6 arches are still visible, the other 4 have been bombed. The third best-preserved work is a series of intersections near Via Pontemaggiore in San Leonardo in Treponzio: here there is an iron bridge over a river and a perfectly preserved arched bridge.
Total distance: 37548 m
Total climbing: 0 m
Total descent: 0 m
The old abandoned railway passes through many interesting cities, among them: Lucca, one of the most fascinating and best-preserved mediaeval cities in Italy, Pontedera and Calcinaia, 2 small towns that are 3 km distant from each other; Vicopisano, Italian town located between the course of the Arno, famous for the Fortress of Brunelleschi; Medieval town Bientina. The most important festivals in the area are:
  • Medieval Festival of Vicopisano, in September
  • Lucca Comics, between October and November
  • Palio Of Bientina, in July
Another point of interest in the area is Lake Gherardesca, located in an area of Castelvecchio di Compito, in Capannori. The area of the lake is ideal for excursions, walks, birdwatching and nature photography.
Credits: Matteo Bini
The ex-railway could be suitable for carrying out plenty of sports and activities that can keep people entertained: Hiking, cycling, natural and educational excursions, walking and trekking and running, In the ecological reserve “Gherardesca’s lake, near Monte Pisano, some organizations organize trekking activities and walking routes to discover the biodiversity of the lake and the beauty of the area.
Credits: Matteo Bini

According to the potential greenway project, pedestrians, bike and mountain bike will be able to use the track. The itinerary is quite easy and passes through secondary asphalt roads, dirt roads sometimes with uneven surface. For this reason, at the moment the track is not equipped for people with reduced mobility.

The overall objective of the potential reconversion project Lucca-Pontedera tourist cycleway is the promotion of the Tuscan area and the connection between local businesses, gastronomic traditions and the environmental value. The goal of the project is the creation of a system of tourist cycle and trekking routes. For many years the conversion project of the old railway has been discussed. A turning point came in 2019 with the agreement, between the municipality of Capannori, Lucca and Monte Pisano. In 2021, the Municipality of Capannori has assigned to Econnverso Studio the draft project to carry out the design for the reconversion of the ancient railway. According to a Tuscany region press release(2022), the Region of Tuscany and the municipalities of Bientina, Buti, Calcinaia, Capannori, Pontedera, and Vicopisano are about to sign an agreement for the drafting of the final design of the Lucca – Pontedera Ciclovia. The final design of the project, will be delivered by 31 May of next year, and the complete realization by 30 September 2023. The project will cost nearly 169,000 euros: 95,000 will be provided by the region, while the remaining funding will be provided by the municipalities involved.