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HIDDEN TREASURES OF TUSCANY: Mansi Palace Via Galli Tassi 43 (LUCCA)

Mansi Palace, a magnificent Renaissance building that houses the Lucca National Museum, is renowned for the intriguing story of Lucida Mansi a noble woman that at the early age of 21 married the old and wealthy Gasparo Mansi. As the legend goes Lucida was a very attractive and dissoluted woman used to join young lovers of which she got rid by throwing them down in a ditch covered in sharp blades. One day Lucida found a small wrinkle on her face and became desperate at the thought of aging and losing her beauty. At that moment the devil appeared who promised her that she could remain youthful and beautiful for 30 years in exchange for her soul: she gratefully accepted the offer. Lucida’s years of youthful splendor flew away and 30 years later the devil reappeared to claim her soul. Attempting to outrun the devil she climbed the Hours Tower to stop the time by blocking the clock’s needles, but the devil put her into his carriage and began racing around the walls of Lucca ending up in the small lake of Lucca’s botanical gardens. The legend claims that even today on the night of the full moon you see her face reflected in the surface of the pond...

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