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At 126 kilometres the Serchio (in antiquity the Auser) is the third longest river in the Italian region of Tuscany, coming after the Arnomarker (242 km) and the Ombrone (161 km). By mean rate of flow it is the second largest, following the Arno but preceding the Ombrone.

The principal source forms on the slopes of Monte Sillano (1,864 metres) and is joined by a secondary branch, the Serchio di Gramolazzo, at Piazza al Serchiomarker.

The river then crosses Garfagnana from north to south, from Sillanomarker to a location beyond Castelnuovo di Garfagnanamarker; from here it continues through the Media Valle touching the municipal borders of the Comune of Bargamarker and crossing the territory of Borgo a Mozzanomarker. In this section of the river, which is dammed in a number of places, it receives from the right the waters of the Edron, Tùrrite Secca, Tùrrite di Gallicano, Turrite Cava and the Pedogna; and from the left those of the Fiume, the Castiglione, the Sillico, and its most important tributary the Lima. This last, which is born at the Passo dell'Abetone and collects the waters of the Modenese and Pistoiese high Apennines, forms a sub-basin in its own right and achieves a mean discharge of more than 20 cubic metres per second.

Having reached the plain of Luccamarker, where it is joined by the torrent Freddana, the Serchio turns westwards, crosses the “straits”of Filettole, and enters the Province of Pisa. Here it runs through San Giuliano Termemarker and Vecchianomarker before entering the Ligurian Seamarker in the area of the Parco di San Rossore, a few kilometres to the north of Pisamarker.

The national road SS 12 (AbetonemarkerBrennero) follows the course of the Serchio already to a Lucca's valley, after going up until Bagni di Luccamarker;from here until to the origins, from street to Capanne di Sillanomarker and the step of Pradarena.

The localities that the river crosses are, in Garfagnana: Castelnuovo di Garfagnanamarker, Bargamarker, Bagni di Luccamarker; and in Lucchesia: Borgo a Mozzanomarker and Luccamarker.

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