Bagni Di Lucca - History

History

Bagni di Lucca has been known for its thermal springs since the Etruscan and Roman ages. The locality was noted for the first time in an official document of 983CE, with reference to a donation by the Bishop Teudogrimo of the territory of Bagni di Lucca to Fraolmo of Corvaresi.

Between the 10th and 11th centuries, the village became a feudal property. It was held first by the Suffredinghi family, then the Porcareschi, and later the Lupari. In the 12th century, the commune of Lucca occupied the territory of Bagni di Lucca. In 1308 Lucca unified the community of Bagni di Lucca with those of the nearby villages, forming a Vicarship named "Vicarship of the Lima Valley".

During the 14th century, recognizing the revenue from visitors to the thermal springs of Bagni di Lucca, Lucca restored the town. The commune developed it as a destination, a relaxing and enjoyable oasis that attracted numerous visitors, including international figures.

Bagni di Lucca and its thermal baths reached its peak of notability during the 19th century, especially during the French occupation. The town became the summer residence of the court of Napoleon and his sister, Elisa Baciocchi. A casino was built, where gambling was part of social nightlife, as well as a large hall for dances.

At the Congress of Vienna (1814), the Duchy of Lucca, including Bagni di Lucca, was assigned to Maria-Louisa, a Bourbon Sovereign of Parma. It continued as a popular summer resort, particularly for the English, who built a Protestant church there (still extant). In 1847 Lucca with Bagni di Lucca was ceded to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, under the domain of the Grand Duke Leopold II of Lorraine. His rule started a period of decline for the springs and casino as a destination, since he was used to a secluded life. In 1853 the casino was closed. It was reopened after 1861, when Lucca became part of the unified Kingdom of Italy.

In the meantime, the economy became diversified. Residents developed crafts and manufactured paperboard, chalk and plastic.

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