Lucca, too many tourists fall off walls, and mayor forces installation of barriers

The walls of Lucca will be transennaded in six places: the decision made because of too many tourists falling off the ramparts.

The city walls of Lucca, one of the most extraordinary European examples of modern-era city walls that has been preserved in its entirety, have been transennaded in some places. The reason? Too many tourists lean out and fall (the last case last May 14, but the list is quite long), which is why Mayor Alessandro Tambellini, after the manager of the Public Works and Urban Planning sector received reports from the chief inspector of the Judicial Police of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Lucca and officers of the Judicial Construction and Environmental Police Unit of the Municipal Police, decided to install guards at the points considered most at risk of falling. In particular, the barriers will be installed on the San Frediano platform, where the parapet is very low, on the San Donato bulwark, which is distinguished by its low height walls, and again on the San Colombano bulwark, the La Libertà bulwark, the San Salvatore bulwark and the San Martino bulwark.

The dangerousness of these areas of the walls is already widely signaled with signage requiring citizens and tourists not to approach the edges of the walls, under penalty of a fine as well, but evidently the risk of catching a fine is not enough, and consequently the ordinance signed on August 27 by the mayor became necessary. The installation of the temporary barriers started a few hours after the mayor signed it. However, the municipality makes it known in a note that “due to obvious problems of force majeure,” it was not able “to agree with the Superintendence on the modalities for the implementation of the interventions implemented this morning, but nevertheless continues its commitment and collaboration with the peripheral body of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage (recipient of the 2 million euro funding for the Walls) to finalize the shared design of the final interventions to improve the safety of the monument.”

A drastic solution from the point of view oflandscape impact and one that had always been discarded precisely because of the fact that the transennas are not exactly pretty to look at. And a solution that also stems from the developments of an incident dating back to August last year, when two French tourists (a father and a six-year-old boy) fell from the walls, suffering serious injuries, because the son had not noticed that the walls were over, and the father had followed him in an attempt to save him from falling: the family then decided to sue the municipality for lack of safety, and the court case is still going on (moreover, the municipality in turn had sued the parents for child neglect).

For all these reasons, in essence, we will have to get used to seeing, perhaps for a long time, the walls of Lucca, one of Italy’s most famous monuments, altered in their appearance.

Photo: a section of the walls of Lucca. Ph. Credit Carlo Pelagalli

Lucca, too many tourists fall off walls, and mayor forces installation of barriers
Lucca, too many tourists fall off walls, and mayor forces installation of barriers

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