At present the place-name
Bacciano refers to a small group of houses not far from the hamlet of Villetta; originally, however, this was a bigger village with a church named after S. Lorenzo, a nunnery and a small castle. The castle
, together with the nearby fortress of Capriola of which little remains, was the residence of the Lords of Bacciano, a small local seigniory first mentioned in 1065 that extended its influence to neighbouring territories and in particular to those of the parish of Careggine. The fortress was part of a system of garrisons and watch towers
along the network of roads and in particular along the Serchio and Edron valleys, gateway to the Apuan Alps and the castles of allied families on the Versilian side. Moreover the castle, near to the road and to the ruins of the medieval bridge across the Serchio, was in an ideal position to guard the passage and collect the tolls. The ruins, together with potsherds and two 'denari' minted in Lucca showing the head of emperor Henry, found during recent archaeological excavations, prove that the site was fortified between the XIth
and the XIVth
century. When the castle no longer played a military role the structures remaining on the roadside, perhaps just ruins, continued to be used as a shelter by wayfarers. We can still see nearby the abandoned buildings of the 'Osteria Nuova', though nothing remains of an alleged 'Osteria Vecchia', maybe situated within the old castle.