All Bridges

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    Rialto Bridge

    Where the Grand Canal is narrowing to slip carefully between the sestieri of San Polo and San Marco, the Venetians thought of building a bridge. And because they’ve been thinking about it for a while, at one point, they’ve done it – the Rialto Bridge. Ponte di Rialto is one of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal in Venice, the oldest one, at the same time, and if you will allow us, the most beautiful one.   SHORT HISTORY The first bridge built in 1180 was a wooden bridge and was supported by boats. It was replaced twice in 1264 and 1310 by wood structures, and it collapsed twice, in 1444, during a festivity, under the weight of the crowd, and in 1521. All these were, practically, training for the stone bridge that was to be born between 1588 and 1591, under the supervision of an architect with an interesting name, Antonio da Ponte (ponte means bridge in italian).   ARCHITECTURE The Rialto Bridge is a multi-arched stone bridge in which a number of jewelry and souvenir shops are now crammed. Two ramps climb to meet romantically under the portico at the top, where tourists have the talent to Read more [...]

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    Ponte Vecchio

    Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) is a medieval arch bridge over the Arno River, in Florence. The bridge connects the northern bank of the river (Piazza del Duomo, Piazza della Signoria and the Uffizi Gallery) with the southern bank (Palazzo Pitti and the Basilica of Santo Spirito).   SHORT HISTORY The first bridge on this site was a wooden one built in the year 966, that was destroyed by a flood in 1117. Reconstructed from stone, the bridge was swept away again in 1333. The current bridge was built in 1335, and was attributed to Taddeo Gaddi by the architect and historian Giorgio Vasari, but its origin is still disputed. Unlike all the other bridges in Florence, Ponte Vecchio was not destroyed by the Germans in the World War II, apparently, because of an order from Hitler himself.   ARCHITECTURE Ponte Vecchio is composed of three segmental arches: the main arch has a span of 30 meters and 4.4 meters in height, and the two side arches each span 27 meters and have a height of about 3.5 meters. Starting with the 13th century, various shops were built on the bridge. At first, there were all sorts of shops, from butchers to Read more [...]

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    Ponte Santa Trinita

    Ponte Santa Trinita is a beautiful bridge in Florence, located on the Arno River, which connects Piazza Santa Trinita to Piazza de’ Frescobaldi.   SHORT HISTORY Ponte Santa Trinita was built in wood in 1252, thanks to Filippo Ugoni, Mayor of Florence, at the behest of the noble Frescobaldi family, and took the name of the nearby Basilica of Santa Trinita. In 1259, the bridge collapsed under the weight of the crowd watching a show on the Arno. It was rebuilt in stone, but was destroyed again by the great flood of 1333. The subsequent rebuilding lasted fifty years, and was completed in 1415. In 1557, Ponte Santa Trinita was again deteriorated by a flood, and Cosimo I commissioned Bartolomeo Ammannati to build a new bridge, based on a design by Michelangelo. The construction began in 1567, and the work was completed in 1571. The bridge was destroyed by the retreating Germans on August 4, 1944, at the end of the Second World War. In 1952, the architect Riccardo Gizdulich began to supervise the reconstruction works, together with the engineer Emilio Brizzi. The reconstructed bridge was inaugurated on March 16, 1958.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The bridge is built in Read more [...]

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    Ponte Sant’Angelo

    Ponte Sant’Angelo, also known as Pons Aelius (Aelian Bridge), Pons Hadriani (Hadrian’s Bridge) or Ponte di Castello (Castle Bridge), is an ancient bridge in Rome, which connects Piazza di Ponte Sant’Angelo to the Lungotevere Castello, in front of the Sant’Angelo Castle.   SHORT HISTORY The bridge was built in the year 134 by the emperor Hadrian, based on a project by a certain Demetrianus, to connect his mausoleum, now Castel Sant’Angelo, to the left bank of the Tiber River. Ponte Sant’Angelo was covered with travertine and had three arches, which could be accessed by ramps. The ramps were supported by three minor arches on the left bank of the river and two on the right bank, but were destroyed in 1893 for the construction of the river banks. In July 472, the bridge was used by the Gothic troops of Ricimer to attack the eastern part of the city, defended by the Roman emperor Anthemius. In the Middle Ages, Ponte Sant’Angelo was used by pilgrims on their way to the Saint Peter’s Basilica, and was also known as the Bridge of Saint Peter (Pons Sancti Petri). In 1535, Pope Clement VII had the statues of Saint Peter and Saint Paul Read more [...]

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    Ponte San Michele

    Ponte San Michele (Saint Michael Bridge) is a pedestrian only bridge over the Retrone River, in Vicenza, located in the southeastern part of the historical center of the city.   SHORT HISTORY A wooden bridge was built on this site in 1265, and replaced in 1422 with a stone bridge. The current bridge was built between 1621 and 1623 on the model of Venetian bridges by the architects Tomaso and Francesco Contini. The name of the bridge derives from the Romanesque-Gothic Church of San Michele, located nearby, built in the 13th century by the Augustinians, but destroyed in the Napoleonic era.   HOW TO GET THERE Ponte San Michele is located about 950 meters away from the Vicenza railway station. The closest bus stop is located in Largo Neri Pozza, about 160 meters away, on the bus Line 10.

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    Ponte Pietra

    Built in Roman times, Ponte Pietra (Stone Bridge) is the oldest bridge on the Adige River, in Verona.   SHORT HISTORY A first wooden bridge was built on this place during the construction of Via Postumia, in 148 BC. Subsequently, the wooden bridge was replaced by the stone one. In the following centuries, the bridge was damaged many times, mainly due to the flooding of the Adige River, in particular in 1007, in 1153, in 1232 and again in 1239. In 1298, the Lord of Verona Alberto della Scala had the tower on the western bank of the river restored and the adjacent arch rebuilt, while in 1368, his great-grandson, Cansignorio della Scala, built an aqueduct on the same bridge that supplied water to several houses in the historic center of the city. During the same time, the bridge was equipped with a second tower on the eastern bank of the river. In 1508, the City Council asked the architect Fra’ Giocondo to supervise the reconstruction of the Roman bridge, but the work began only in 1520, after the death of the architect, and was finished one year later. After a few centuries of relative tranquility, in 1801, the tower Read more [...]

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    Ponte della Vittoria

    Ponte della Vittoria (Bridge of Victory) is a bridge in Verona, built across the Adige river. The bridge owes its name to the victory of Vittorio Veneto, a battle that led to the defeat of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the First World War.   SHORT HISTORY In 1925, the Municipality of Verona announced a national competition for the construction of a monumental bridge to celebrate the Battle of Vittorio Veneto and the memory of the Veronese victims. The competition, attended by numerous designers, was won by the architect Ettore Fagiuoli and the engineer Ferruccio Cipriani. The construction began on November 4, 1928, and was completed in 1931. The inauguration took place on November 4, 1929. The construction site of the bridge saw the destruction of some surrounding buildings. On the night of April 25, 1945, the bridge was destroyed by the retreating Germans, along with all the other bridges in Verona, including Ponte di Castelvecchio. Only the right arch of the bridge remained intact, which was used by the Allies as a support for the construction of an iron bridge, indispensable for continuing the pursuit of the German troops. In 1947, Ettore Fagiuoli redesigned the bridge, and on August 29, Read more [...]

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    Ponte di Castelvecchio

    Ponte di Castelvecchio, also known as Ponte Scaligero, is a medieval bridge in Verona, on the Adige River, part of the fortress of Castelvecchio.   SHORT HISTORY The bridge was built between 1354 and 1356 under the lordship of Cangrande II della Scala, to ensure the fortress of Castelvecchio with an escape route to the Adige Valley, in case of a riot by one of the enemy factions within the city. The structure of the bridge remained untouched for about five centuries, until 1802, when the French, following the Treaty of Lunéville, demolished the tower on the southern side and eliminated the battlements. In 1820, the battlements were reconstructed by the Austrians on the orders of Emperor Francis I of Austria. The bridge was destroyed on April 24, 1945, by the retreating Germans, along with all the other bridges in Verona. In the post-war period, the Municipality of Verona decided to rebuild it together with other important monuments lost during the Second World War. For the reconstruction project, the architect Piero Gazzola collaborated with the engineer Alberto Minghetti for the technical part and with the architect Libero Cecchini for the artistic part. The work began at the end of 1945, Read more [...]

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    Ponte del Diavolo

    Ponte del Diavolo (Devil’s Bridge) is one of the two bridges which still exists on the island of Torcello and, at the same time, one of the only two bridges without parapets still found in the Venetian Lagoon, the other being Ponte del Chiodo, located in the sestiere of Cannaregio, in Venice.   SHORT HISTORY Recent archaeological studies confirmed that the bridge was built in the 15th century, on the site of a previous narrow bridge from the 13th century. The origin of its name was not yet established. Some locals claim to come from the surname of a local family, Diavoli, and others remember the legend of a pact with the devil that a young man made in the 19th century, during the Austrian occupation of Venice, to recover his dead lover. On August 6, 2009, the radical restoration of the monument was completed, with an intervention that rigorously maintained the original structure, reinforcing the arch of the bridge.   HOW TO GET THERE To get to the island of Torcello, from Burano, you can take the waterbus Line 9. From Venice, you can take the waterbus Line 12. Ponte del Diavolo is located across the Canale Maggiore, about Read more [...]

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    Ponte di Mezzo

    Ponte di Mezzo, commonly known as Ponte Conte Ugolino, is a bridge over the Arno River, in Pisa. The bridge connects Piazza Garibaldi, belonging to Tramontana, the northern part of the city, to Piazza XX Settembre, located south of the river, in Mezzogiorno. Every year, on the last Saturday of June, a historical reenactment event takes place on Ponte di Mezzo, known as the Battle of the Bridge (Gioco del Ponte).   SHORT HISTORY Until the 12th century, Pisa had only one bridge, made initially of wood, which connected the two banks of the Arno River in the position where the Church of Santa Cristina currently stands. In 1035, the year of the victory of Lipari, the wooden bridge was rebuilt in stone and moved further east, on the current site of Ponte di Mezzo. The bridge was restored by the order of Pietro Gambacorta in 1388, owner of the homonymous palace. In 1635, the bridge, known at the time as Ponte Vecchio, collapsed due to a flood of the Arno. The reconstruction work took about thirty years, and the bridge was completed in 1660. In the early decades of the 20th century, Pisa’s tram network went into service, with Read more [...]

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    Bridge of Sighs

    Looking at the Bridge of Sighs from Ponte della Paglia, we can still imagine Casanova going over the Rio di Palazzo, from the prison to the Doge’s Palace, sighing for freedom. The Venetian adventurer, who was arrested in 1755, would escape a few months later from prison, but for many others, this route over the Bridge of Sighs probably offered the last glance to the outside world.   SHORT HISTORY The Bridge of Sighs (“Ponte dei Sospiri”, in Italian) was built at the beginning of the 17th century by Antonio Contino, on the order of the Doge Marino Grimani. Antonio Contino, the successor of another famous architect, Antonio da Ponte (the creator of the Rialto Bridge), has built between 1600 and 1603 this baroque construction from white limestone to link the New Prison and the Doge’s Palace, where the prisoners were taken to be judged. The bridge became famous in the 19th century because of Lord Byron, who painted it romantically in a poem called Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. Over time, the Bridge of Sighs will become a well-known Venetian symbol with bitter-sweet connotations, mixing the suffering and the desire for freedom of those who crossed it, with the hope of Read more [...]