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Ponte Pietra - the oldest roman bridge in Verona

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Ponte Pietra the oldest roman bridge
The Ponte Pietra, or the Stone Bridge, is the oldest Roman bridge of Verona, and one of the most important Roman monuments of the city.
The original bridge across the River Adige, dating back to before 89BC, would not have been stone, but wood. The stone bridge was built in the 1st century BC, during the construction of the Postumia Road, which linked Genoa and Aquileia.
 
Ponte Pietra by Night
In Roman times there were seven bridges that crossed the Adige, but the Ponte Pietra was considered to be the most beautiful. When it was first built, the bridge was given the name Pons Marmoreus and was situated next to another bridge, the Pons Postumis, which linked the city on the right bank to the Roman theatre on the east bank. Both bridges stood together for many years until, in 905AD, the Pons Postumis was partially destroyed by flooding. Despite being damaged the bridge remained standing for three centuries, until it finally fell into the water.
 
A painting of Ponte Pietra like it was in the past
But it wasn’t just the Pons Postumis that suffered damaged and destruction, the Ponte Pietra did too. At several points throughout its two thousand year history, the Ponte Pietra was damaged and reconstructed in all manners. Today, it is a humpback bridge with asymmetrical arches, two of which, in white stone are from the original Roman construction. The central arch and its neighbour, built of brick, are from 1520, and the last arch on the right bank is medieval; the defensive tower was placed at the head of the bridge in 1298 by Alberto I Della Scala.
 
Stone Bridge during a sunset in Verona

The bridge sustained its most recent damage during the Second World War. The Ponte Pietra and all the bridges in Verona were subject to attack by German forces. On the 24th April 1945, the bridge was blown up, but it was faithfully reconstructed, using only the original stone and material that was recovered from the riverbed.

Beautiful by day, the bridge is even more beautiful at night, when the fast flowing water is captured by creative lighting.
 
A view on Ponte Pietra by the Roman Theater
 

 

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