Ponte di Mezzo, commonly known as the 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 the Ponte di Mezzo, known as the Battle of the Bridge (Gioco del Ponte).
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 currently is the Church of Santa Cristina.
In 1035, the year of the victory of Lipari, the wooden bridge was rebuilt in stone and moved further east, where currently stands the 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 the tracks also passing through Ponte di Mezzo.
On July 22, 1944, during the Second World War, the Allied bombs and the German mines destroyed the bridge. For its reconstruction, requested by the population, a popular referendum was called to choose the project in 1946. The bridge was built only in May 1950, with a delay due to both technical and bureaucratic problems.
The bridge is 89 meters long, has a maximum height of 12.50 meters, has a single span with a maximum light of 72 meters. Its structure is made from reinforced concrete, and the sides are covered in white Verona stone.
HOW TO GET THERE
The bridge is located about 950 meters away from the Pisa train station, or about 12 minutes on foot. The closest bus station is Pacinotti 3, on the bus Lines LAM Rossa and Navetta E, located about 20 meters away.