Heavy Metal Menagerie

I’ve used my local ironsmith to get some external metal stairs done and also an arch over my gate to support the wisteria. I don’t know whether I’d go as far as ordering some metal animals for our garden but they look cute enough outside the ironsmith’s works near Chifenti.

In the nineteenth century Borgo a Mozzano and Bagni di Lucca had a tussle over who should administer the two outlying areas of Fornoli and Chifenti. Eventually the whole matter was decided by a referendum nicely described in Natalia Sereni’s book “Con franchezza e lealtà… La storia del passaggio di alcune frazioni da Borgo a Mozzano a Bagni di Lucca” which is mentioned in my post at:https://longoio.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/bewitching-flowering-meadow/

Fornoli became part of Bagni di Lucca comune and Chifenti remained resolutely under Borgo a Mozzano’s administration. Yet they are practically facing each other on opposite banks of the Lima River!

Another lovely church in Borgo a Mozzano, (just called “Borgo” by those living in this area) is San Rocco.

The church of San Rocco is located on the site of the oratory of San Sebastiano. In 1527 a chapel was dedicated to St. Rocco, the patron saint of plague victims and the sick in general.  Between 1606 and 1627 the chapel was extended and its choir enriched. In 1760 work on the present church was started and completed in 1791 in a sober and elegant classical style. Above the main entrance to the church, there is a circular marble bas-relief depicting St. Rocco. The square in front of the church has a lovely porticoed terrace to the right.


The interior of San Rocco, shaped like a Latin cross, is in a joyful rococo style and contains six side altars of which the first four, before the crossing, are of stucco and were created by Giovanni Battista Lazzari, Sebastiano Lippi and Giovanni Michelucci Maria.

In this church there are also several works by Luigi Ademollo, an artist who worked extensively in Lucca during the first half of the nineteenth century. From this painter’s brush are three large murals on the sides of the main altar, the “Centurion “, “the Redeemer and the Baptist” and ” Distribution of Bread.” Recently, these works have been happily restored.

There are also some fine stained glass windows of more recent date:

and an Agati-Nicomede organ which dates back  to 1851 but whose keyboard I feel must be older.

San Rocco tends to be overlooked by San Jacopo but it is well worth a visit as, indeed, are most of the churches in this part of the world.


One thought on “Heavy Metal Menagerie

  1. Pingback: An Evening Dedicated to Chifenti | From London to Longoio (and Lucca and Beyond) Part Two

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