The cross of Brancoli marks one of the most panoramic points of Brancoleria, on a spur overlooking the Serchio Valley and the plain of Lucca.
The Cross stands on the site where the Brancoli tower once stood, built in 1594, a signal tower clearly visible from the 'Tower of the Palace' in the historic centre of Lucca and equipped with optical instruments used for communicating the complex system known as the 'Eye of Lucca', which allowed for a privileged observatory, communicating the alert to the other towers distributed throughout the territory of the Republic and sending the various Militias of the Contado to Lucca, should the situation make them indispensable.
During the last world war, the retreating German troops decided to blow it up, fearing that it might become a reference point for the Allied advance. On 23 August 1958, the new cross, 18.40 metres high, was inaugurated. The splendid panorama over the entire plain of Lucca, the Apuan Alps, the Media Valle del Serchio, the Apennines and the Tyrrhenian Sea as far as the islands of Capraia and Gorgona remains unchanged.
The Cross of Brancoli is recently the destination of the May Ciclomessa, where professional and amateur cyclists can go for the blessing of bicycles.
After the Holy Mass a convivial moment with an aperitif and, for those who still want to pedal, a descent to the garden of the Convent of San Francesco Borgo a Mozzano for a good plate of pasta and a glass of wine in company.
The cross of Brancoli is the highest point of the Romanesque parish churches itinerary of Brancoli, a route of great atmosphere among wide panoramas, wooded landscapes and white parish churches