Posted by: debrakolkka | March 25, 2010

Hannibal in Bagni di Lucca

I have just found out that Hannibal and his elephants walked through our friend Tina’s front yard on the way to the thermal springs above.  Of course, it wasn’t Tina’s front yard then.  There was probably nothing there but the track that left the river and wound its way into the mountains.

Tina's front yard

Hannibal left Spain with 50,000 infantry, 9,000 cavalry and 37 elephants.  He led his troops though the Pyrenees and the Alps.  Weatherbeaten, malnourished and exhausted, he and his troops and the few remaining elephants arrived in Italy at the foothills of the Alps near Turin.  Here they did a bit of pillaging and gathered some local men to boost troop numbers.

From their base near Bologna they made their way across the Apennines and into Bagni di Lucca, Tina’s front yard and up to the thermal springs for a bit of a frolic.  It must have worked well.  Hannibal went on to win 3 victories at Trebbia, Lake Trasimeno and Cannae and occupied Italy for more than 15 years.

I will walk through Tina’s roses with much more interest.

The path from the river 28th March 2010


  1. I guess the elephants helped fertilize those roses!
    Very interesting. I’m glad you noted that Tina wasn’t living there at the time.

  2. Amazing history – I’ve walked the same path as Hannibal & his elephants! I will also walk the path with more interest on my next vist to Bagni di Lucca.

  3. That’s amazing, Deb! So Bagni di Lucca offered more ancient appeal than just a place for European aristocracy and the Romantic poets. Those thermal springs are really something – my husband and I had a swim in one of the thermal pools in Villa and came home really refreshed, almost like possessing brand new bodies. Little wonder Hannibal and the elephants felt good!

  4. Deb-I am not much of a shopper but I sure love spas-is the one in Bagni worth a visit or is it commercialized now? Have you any advice where we could visit an outside thermal spa or thermal “healing” waters I always hear about? We leave in 10 hrs!!!

    • Hi Melonie,
      The spa at Bagni Caldi is certainly worth a visit. I’m not sure what you mean by commercialized, but I enjoyed my visit. I went to the small steam grotto and had a massage afterwards. There is an open air pool in La Villa which is filled with spring water I believe, but it is a swimming pool. I’m not sure when it opens for the summer.

  5. […] Hannibal in Bagni di Lucca – Bagni di Lucca and BeyondMar 25, 2010 … I will walk through Tina’s roses with much more interest. The path from the river … By: Sandra Hoopmann on March 26, 2010 at 3:14 am. Reply … […]

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