Bridges of Florence – Second Part

Ponte di Santa Trinita

The name of the bridge derives from the name of the Santa Trinita Church. Its original construction was in wood and was commissioned by nobleman Lamberto Frescobaldi in 1252. It crushed in 1259 and was substituted by a stone bridge, which was then destroyed by the 1333 flood. The second reconstruction lasted from 1346 to 1415, but again a flood destroyed the bridge in 1557. Bartolomeo Ammannati was then ordered by Cosimo I to rebuild a bridge with allegedly the help of Michelangelo. The latter applied his characteristic elliptical shape to the arches, a stylistic innovation anticipating the Baroque style, which he had already experimented in the Medici Chapels; the works started in 1567 and ended in 1571. In occasion of the marriage of Cosimo II with Magdalena of Austria statues of the Four Seasons were created and placed at the bridge’s extremities. After the Germans destroyed it in 1944, the bridge was rebuilt between 1955 and 1958 upon a project by R. Gizdulich and engineer Brizzi, as an identical copy of the former bridge (this after a long discussion on the particular curves of the arches). The head of the Spring statue was recuperated in 1961 from the bottom of the river and relocated on the statue as it is today.

Ponte alla Carraia

The bridge was built in 1218 and named “Ponte nuovo” (new bridge); it was destroyed by a flood in 1269, then rebuilt with stone and wood and destroyed again by the 1333 flood. It was rebuilt as the second stonework bridge of Florence and had two small chapels at its two extremities. The present name, Carraia, derives from its carriage passageway. It was enlarged and reinforced by Bartolomeo Ammannati by order of Cosimo I after the 1557 flood. In 1867 two sidewalks to jolt were added. After the Germans’ destruction in 1944, it was rebuilt between 1948 and 1952 upon a project by E. Fagioli, and has been named the “hunch-backed bridge” because of its accentuated curvy shape.

Ponte Vespucci

This is the first bridge built in the San Frediano district of Florence (and called “bridge of via Melegnano”); it was created in 1949, when different material of the suspended bridges preceding the Ponte alla Carraia and Ponte San Niccolò destroyed by the Germans was moved on the stonework shafts here built. The bridge was built between 1955 and 1957.

Ponte alla Vittoria

A suspended bridge was built by the company Séguin in 1836 by order of Grand-duke Leopold II and named after Saint Leopold. It crushed in 1925 and was substituted by a stonework bridge then destroyed by the Germans during the 1944 retreat and later rebuilt, its name changing into the present one in 1946.

Ponte all'Indiano

Also called Viadotto or Ponte dell'Indiano, it is the most recently built bridge in Florence and connects the districts of Peretola and Isolotto through a highway which crosses the Arno river.

Ponte da Verrazzano

This is the youngest bridge of the city. It was indeed built in 1965 upon a project by C. Damerini, L. Savioli and V. Scalesse.

APT Firenze, Via A. Manzoni, 16;
50121 Florence
ph. 055-23320.