The village of Chifenti is located about one kilometer from Borgo a Mozzano. The village, which arose in unknown times, is located at the confluence of the Serchio River and the Lima stream.
The monument that made Chifenti famous is the famous Chain Bridge designed by architect Lorenzo Nottolini. The bridge was built to connect Chifenti with the town of Fornoli; begun in 1839, it was completed in 1860.
After photographing and crossing the Ponte delle Catene, you can drop by the park below, “Parco della Pace,” in which there is a children’s play area, small tables and a drinking fountain with drinking water, and pay a visit to the Church of Saints Peter and Paul, located in a panoramic position.
Chifenti and Fornoli: Chain Bridge
In 1839, commissioned by the Duke of Lucca Carlo Lodovico di Borbone, architect Nottolini designed and began construction of a suspension bridge over the Lima to connect the village of Chifenti with that of Fornoli.
This was precisely the so-called “Chain Bridge” which replaced a much older bridge.
The Chain Bridge, was a futuristic work for the time. Before drawing up the design, the architect had to personally visit similar architecture built in England.
The work was based on the innovative use of industrial iron techniques by suspending it with chains over an underground mechanism that held the chains in tension.
Like the Chain Bridge in Budapest, the Fornoli Bridge was also undermined by the Wehrmacht in 1944. The explosion caused damage to the deck, which was rebuilt, according to the original design, after the war.
It is worth going to Fornoli to see the Chain Bridge and have a coffee in the village café where we found a quiet and friendly atmosphere. The park below has a nice children’s play area where you can quietly spend a couple of hours among the meadows and flowers. A 5-minute walk from the bridge is the Church of Saints Peter and Paul reached by a flight of steps. It may be noted that the Via del Grano passes nearby.
➥ the Chain Bridge is walkable;
➥ there is free parking in the vicinity of the bridge.
Chifenti and Fornoli: Chain Bridge. Where to sleep
About twenty minutes from Fornoli is Barga, one of the most enchanting villages in Garfagnana. It is well worth wandering aimlessly through its narrow medieval-style streets and visiting the beautiful little churches. We stayed at Agriturismo Chioi, on the heights of Barga, about a 10-minute drive from the historic center.
It is an apartment surrounded by greenery, perfect for families and truly exceptional for those who appreciate farm vacations: chickens, sheep, goats and rabbits as well as a large garden with barbecue and swimming pool. The managers are very friendly and in the morning they provide eggs from their chickens – Book here.
▶ You might also be interested in Fornolasco and the Grotta del Vento.