107 years ago the first steam train left Lucca and trundled up the newly laid railway lines travelling through Bagni di Lucca and then onto Barga before arriving triumphantly in Castelnuovo Garfagnana.
The local newspaper in Bagni di Lucca, il Corriere di Bagni di Lucca, more than a century ago wrote then that “La civiltà arriva fin dove giunge il vapore” – “where steam arrives, so does civilisation” and it would be no exaggeration to describe just how much the arrival of the train in its early changed life here forever, opening up what was until then, a tiny closed off valley, more or less forgotten by the rest of the world.
The railway track provided the possibility of a fast link to the outside world for the foundry in Fornaci di Barga, and the paper mills making use of the abundant water supply which sprung up along the bottom of the valley.
It also allowed the quick movement of people up into the valley and back down into Lucca but the opening of this railway was not without a great deal of polemic, arguments and discussions as national government at the time evidently had little interest in spending time and a considerable investment in opening up the track.
L' arrivo del treno a vapore alla stazione di Castelnuovo di Garfagnana.
Publiée par Arredamenti Tardelli sur lundi 2 avril 2018
Additional images by Museo Nazionale dei Trasporti – Sezione Ferroviaria, Poli Ernesto, Vittorio Lino Biondi and Riccarda Bernacchi video by Arredamenti Tardelli
painter and photographer - started barganews.com, the first on line news site in Tuscany, Italy back in 1996