Hermitage of Valbona

Not far from the town of Fabbriche di Vallico, in "I Romiti", are the ruins of the Hermitage of San Galgano di Valbona, a very ancient place of worship located along the road that connected the Garfagnana with the Versilia.

Historical notes

The monastery, founded in 1214 on the initiative of the inhabitants of Trassilico castle, was equipped with a small chapel and a hospital. It soon became popular with pilgrims and travellers and thanks to the donations of devotees offered to remedy the sins they had committed and to secure the salvation of their souls, it became quite wealthy. The convent was also mentioned in the Appraisal of the Diocese of Lucca in 1260, according to which the monastery had to pay a rather large tithe due to the high rents it collected.
In the following century, however, the monastery lost its importance and in 1374 the Bishop was forced to grant indulgences to all those who had contributed to the restructuring of the complex. In 1461, the monastery was united with that of Sant’Agostino  in Lucca. The riches from the hermitage were sold to Bernardino of Vallico di Sotto, a devout man who maintained the activities of the church - then dedicated to the Most Holy Annunciation - and its associated structures. The place of worship continued, therefore, to have a public function until at least 1520, the year in which the church of San Jacopo in Fabbriche di Vallico was consecrated.

Currently the site falls within private property and in some buildings of a later period, you can still find some mediaeval walls which have survived the ravages of time and many alterations. The facade of the Romanesque church and a portion of the walls that surrounded the monastery from the thirteenth century are particularly exquisite.


Hermitage of Valbona, general view of the structure
Hermitage of Valbona, detail of the facade with main entrance