Enchantment and history: a trip to the Parole d’Oro (Golden Words)
At the foot slopes of Monte Pisano, facing Lucca, you can find a place steeped in history and nature.
This is not only part of one of the most interesting hiking paths of Monte Pisano (la Via degli Acquedotti), but also an ideal destination for photographers and nature lovers: we’re talking about the Golden Words and the Little Temple in Guamo!
Let’s start at the beginning: to reach this spot you pass by a construction of huge historical importance, designed by Lorenzo Nottolini, on the request of Maria Luisa di Borbone, Duchess of Lucca in 1822.
This aqueduct radically altered the quality of life of Lucca’s inhabitants: the wealthy people used to send their servants to draw water directly from the springs and fountains, the less well-off used the local wells which were not particularly clean.
The project actually began at he behest of Elisa Bonaparte, Napoleon’s sister, but it was suspended and subsequently resumed and partly altered by Nottolini.
Guamo, the little temple and the brass inscription
Following the path from Lucca that follows the Nottolini Aqueduct in the Guamo direction, you will reach this heavenly little corner and the the Little Temple of Guamo, where water from the spring Serra Vespasiata on Monte Pisano was collected.
The place is immediately recognizable for the presence of a small bridge with the inscription in brass, believed to be in gold by the peasants of that time.
The writing reads:
KAR.LVD.BORB.I.H.DUX.N.AUG.AQUIS.E.PLURIBUS FONTIUM ORIBUS.COLLIGENDIS.ET AD URBANOS PONTES LARGIUS PERDUCENDIS.MONUMENTO.AETERNO.PROVIDIT.DUCATUS.SUI.ANNO.VI
Carlo Ludovico Borbano, highly noble and august Duke, in the 6th year of his Dukedom, saw to the the collection of water from many springs and the distribution to the city aqueducts with eternal movement.
This is a thoroughly enchanting spot, you could actually believe yourself to be in a fairy tale.
Now time for some tips!
First of all I suggest that you allow at least half a day to fully enjoy the trip and appreciate the surroundings.
For the more adventurous I would suggest continuing along the path along the aqueduct and hiking over Monte Pisano and reaching Pisa.
If you are gourmands I highly recommend a visit to one of these two restaurants in Vorno:
Photo Credits: I Rintronauti, Wikipedia