Posted by: Debra Kolkka | March 5, 2015

A tornado hits Bagni di Lucca

I was woken early this morning by a strange noise. When I got out of bed I saw that all the lights were off in the village and a howling wind was roaring along the river.

There wasn’t much I could do except pull the shutters closed and go back to bed. I didn’t sleep though, there were loud crashes and bangs that continued until dawn.

At Ponte a Serraglio there seemed to be little damage except that many roofs had their tiles blown to the road.

La Villa, however, is another story. Huge trees have fallen on rooftops, the streets were absolutely covered with broken terra cotta tiles and branches.

The beautiful park has been devastated. Some of the uprooted trees were hundreds of years old and can never be replaced.

Here is some of the damage.

Damage in Bagni di Lucca

Damage in La Villa

Damage at La Villa

Damage in La Villa

Damage at La Villa

Damage in La Villa

Damage in La Villa

Damage at La Villa

Damage in La Villa


Damage in La Villa

La Villa damage

We still have no power and phone and it is difficult to know how widespread the damage is. I hope to find out more over the next few days.



  1. Wow, how frightening! I hope you get power back soon!

    • It was very scary. I hope everyone is OK.

      • Please keep us up to date.

  2. Glad all is well for you. Somehow that kind of weather terrifies me more when it is around such precious old buildings and ancient treasures.. hopefully it does not come back.. c

    • Nobody can recall it happening before. I don’t want to ever see it again.

      • Hopefully not.. it sounded awful..

  3. Oh no! I can’t believe the photos. Hope nobody was hurt. Very sad to see the park in such a bad shape……..

    • People have been hurt, but it is difficult to get details.

      • Terrible Death of a Man from the Garfagnana on the Lodovica Road which was then closed
        All the traffic had to use the ss12
        Hours of traffic.
        Drivers were very patient and calm..

  4. Devastating. I hope much help will go out to them in recovery efforts. Very sad to see this situation.

    • Everyone was out for the clean up today. I hope we get power soon.

  5. Oh dear Debra. I hope you get your power and phone back soon.

    • Yes, it makes life difficult without them.

  6. oh no! i hope everyone is safe.

    • Everyone I know is OK, which is great.

  7. What a sad situation, glad you’re OK….

    • It is a mess. I hope things return to normal soon.

  8. Amazing pictures…we arrived last night……torrential rains at pisa airport and here in LuccA…..beautiful day through today. See you soon

    • I was in Lucca this morning, at the Questura. We will catch up soon.

  9. Gosh, I do hope everyone is OK, and that the damage can be dealt with quickly.

    Do many people in Italy have house insurance?

    • I really don’t know how popular insurance is. I hope people are covered.

  10. So sad. We were there, years ago. Beautiful town.

    • It is very sad. I hope there is not too much damage.

  11. Forty one year old man was killed. I guess we can be grateful if there were no other deaths or injuries but the devastation is awful.

    • I think there was another death on the Diecimo road. I hope there are no more.

  12. Oh so sorry to hear this and see these pictures! Glad you are ok and hope noone was injured. Let me know if hear if surrounding villages affected!

    • As soon as I hear more I will let you know.

  13. Really terrible, but glad to hear that you are fine. Haven’t heard from our neighbours, but I guess that power and phones are still out. Not terribly worried about the mill. It has been standing for the past 500 years, so it will survive… We do hope that there will not be too many victims and it is a tragedy to see the beautiful old trees at Contessa Casalini Park destroyed. They cannot be easily replaced and they were gorgeous. Keep safe! And keep us informed, please….

    • Villa Ada and Circolo have been damaged. La Villa has been badly hit. Many villages are still without power and roads are cut. The church at Corsena has had a tree fall on its roof. I will let you know what I find out as I do.

  14. Nowhere is safe anymore, sorry to see the damage and hear of a death. Having experienced cyclone Tracy in Darwin I hate to hear wind and always rush around checking windows etc. The lovely statue and tower seem to have escaped the wrath. Thinking of you.

    • The park has been devastated and will never be the same. Many buildings have had roof damage, I hope they have insurance. The world has gone mad.

  15. Very sad. Mother Nature !!!! I hope all will be OK

    • It is lucky there was not more loss of life. The villages will recover.

  16. I hope that Bianca is OK and also The Bridge Hotel. I’ll be coming up for only a day on March 29 to see them and spend a night. I’m bringing a lady for a 10 day tour of a few cities so I have very little time for myself.

    • I saw Bianca this morning and she is fine. Most of the damage seems to be a La Villa. I hope repairs can be done quickly.

  17. So devastating to see. I have lived thru several hurricanes, including Sandy in NJ. It is always heart breaking. And very frightening. Hopefully no one was hurt. But do not despair, even though you can’t feel it now, things will get back to normal and the village will rise.

    • Things don’t happen quite as quickly and efficiently as they do in America or Australia, but I hope things will be back on track soon.

  18. There is no stopping mother nature. you must have thought that you were back in Qld and the cyclone season! Thinking of everyone there, take care.

    • It was a truly weird noise and there was nothing to do but watch and wait.

  19. So relieved you and your property all okay. One forgets how vicious European storms can be ,because we get so many nasty summer storms here. Glad to see the lady statue in the fountain is still perfect. Shame about some of those very old and magnificent trees. As long as no one was hurt, the mess can be cleared. Take care.

    • People have been hurt and there has been lots of damage, but it will take a while to know the extent.

  20. How disastrous – many people from the village have posted the same scenes on Facebook – it all looks terrible – but at least you have the Internet – keep us posted

    • Some places are still without power, but I hope services will be fixed soon.

  21. How strange to have a tornado in winter. Sorry to hear about the destruction. It is always sad to lose trees.

    • I don’t think anything like this has happened here before.

      • Wow, that is really crazy.

  22. Keep safe. The damage looks terrible. I hope my cousins are ok.

    • It is difficult to get reliable news of the damage and injuries, but it seems to be mostly property damage.

  23. Glad to hear you’re ok Debra, hope everyone else is fine. How is our old building looking?

    • There may be some tiles off the roof as there were some on the road below, but the building looks OK.

      • thanks Debra

  24. OMG Deb….is this a freak tornado? Is this sort of weather usual at this time of year??? We’re having a heat wave here in Brisbane, so unusual for March!! Very strange….anyway, take care and bunker down. Thinking of you! What a shock it must be to everyone…..hope the authorities are able to assist. Bring on the Spring!!!!


    • This is a very unusual thing to happen here at any time of the year. I certainly hope it never happens again.

  25. Weather in eveerywhere seems so strange dear Debra, we lived something like that a few month ago in here too. It is not usual. But I am glad you are fine. I hope it never comes again. Trees make me so sad when this happens… Thank you, love, nia

    • It was a very frightening thing to see. I hope never to see it again.

      • I can imagine dear Debra, it makes me always worried. I hope not again. Have a nice day and weekend, love, nia

  26. It’s surely reasonable to presume that the recent arrival of Paul & Nicolet into Ponte a Serraglia , may well have provided the bazaar cosmic weather interlude you have just experienced — there may well be a God after all —-

    • You will have to blame just Paul…I will let him know your thoughts.

  27. How sad there is so much destruction. Nature is so unpredictable.

    • This is crazy weather. I have never seen anything like it.

  28. Happy to hear you are safe Debra and hope your friends came through unscathed.

    • Thank you for thinking of me. All is well in our village, but I feel for the others.

  29. Stay safe Debra. Hope there are no serious injuries and that the commune get it cleaned up quickly. Did any of the nearby villages have any damage or was it localised?

    • Several of the villages have been damaged, but it is not easy to get news yet.

  30. Hi Deb,
    How frightening!
    Prayers are with you all for big clean up. Big winds and damage in Florence also. Just in time for my arrival on Friday!! Let me know if you happen to chance my way.

    • I have heard that Florence was damaged, I hope not too badly. I will definitely come to Florence to see you.

  31. I am heartsick about the ancient beautiful trees being toppled and the other terrible damages to homes and village….and especially for those who lost loved ones. What an aberration! No one could have imagined. The picture of the sculptured woman standing in the fountain among the devastation is so poignant yet so beautiful.

    • I hope the poor little park can be brought back to life. It will never be the same.

  32. How awful and terrifying for you Debra. I’m glad you have your electricity back.

    • It is amazing how much we rely on electricity to get by. Our power is back now.

  33. Glad your OK … and positive thoughts for those in need.

    • There will be a lot of people in need of help. I hope they get it.

  34. Really sad to see those lovely old trees uprooted, Debra. The tiles can be replaced, but not the trees. Hope your power is now restored. Thanks for the photos. xx

    • I heard that 3 of the trees were brought from Australia by ship 200 years ago.

  35. Oh my! So glad you are doing ok! Sad to see so much damage though. Those trees….what a pity!

    • I hate to see those beautiful old trees destroyed.

      • I imagine the dreaded trees that block the view to Ponte survived?

  36. So glad you are safe. Looks like there were lots of narrow misses.

    • It was lucky it happened in the middle of the night. There would have been much more damage on the roads if it had been a few hours later.

  37. So sad to see all this wrath of God is it one wonders however it is all documented in the Bible who knows what a shame! In the UK some smaller trees were saved after being uprooted can be done but still new trees can be planted will take years though to restablish the Look of things! Thanks for documenting the terrible event! Glad to hear you are ok!

    • This is just nature, nothing to do with God or the bible. I hope things can be returned to normal soon.

  38. I hope you are well and that all of your friends are OK too. I read your post with a sense of disbelief. Is the clean-up process starting or is it too early yet for that? I can imagine there are a lot of worried people over there right now, and that is completely understandable.

    • The clean up stated in some places almost immediately. The streets in La Villa are all clean and the park is being cleaned now.

  39. Such a sad thing that people died and so sad to see those big trees destroyed. One grieves for the loss of trees as well.

    • Considering the force of the wind, it is amazing that there was not more loss of life.

  40. This is terrible news Deb. Thinking of everyone in the village. Glad you are safe.

    • It is a beautiful day today. Apart from the mess, you wonder that it ever happened.

      • Hear that the sun is shining and renewal is in the air! So glad to hear from my friends there. The people of Bagni di Lucca area are hearty souls who will work hard to get things back to order. I have full faith that things will be looking up in no time at all.
        Tuscany got hit hard but hopefully it is over.

  41. This is terrible news Deb. Thinking of everyone in the village and the surrounding areas. Glad that you are safe.

    • Things look a bit better today. I hope everyone gets back to normal soon.

  42. I am so sorry to hear this but glad that you are alright. It must have been so scary for the people of La Villa. I hope there was no loss of life.

    • If it had happened in daylight hours there would have been lots of people hurt with the flying tiles, but it was mostly property damage and lots of trees down

  43. Hey, congratulations , I just read the results of the Italy Blog Awards. Well done, Debra.

    • Runner up is better than nothing I suppose.

  44. So sorry to hear how torn apart La Villa and all surrounding villages. Wishing everyone resilience and strength. Glad you are okay and you have power. How unusual to experience this tornado. Changing weather patterns everywhere- how scary.

    • It was a freak storm. Let’s hope they are very rare.

  45. Sad sad sad

    • I’m pleased you have your power back.

  46. Oh Debra that is so devastating. at least you were not hurt. cant believe the statue was intact with all the broken trees around it.

    • With the number of trees that have fallen, it is amazing how few actually hit structures.

  47. Best wishes to everyone involved in the clean up. If we were there we’d be out helping.

    • The most urgent cleaning is already done. The tree clearance will take a while.

  48. Oh my! That looks nasty Debra. Glad you got away lightly. Take care and stay safe.

    • We were very lucky. It was incredible to watch.

  49. Just caught up on your blog and was devastated to hear about this horrible storm! I had no idea that the area was hit by a tornado. I’m glad to hear that you are OK, but sad to hear about all the damage. Does this happen often there? I wouldn’t think so….I feel that the weather all over the world has been so freaky, lately. When we were in Venice last month, it was actually warm at times…so unusual for February! And here in California, we have had one of the warmest winters on record. What is going on? I hope that things return to normal fairly quickly (sounds like they are heading that way). Good luck!

    • Nobody here can recall it ever happening before. Apparently there is a record of something similar in the 1600s. I hope that it doesn’t happen again.

  50. […] di Lucca was hit by a freak tornado in March, not long after I arrived. The noise of the wind was terrifying in the middle of the […]

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