Santa Trinita Bridge
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Tourist informations
Where is it: the bridge joins Via Tornabuoni and Via Maggio.

the Bridge a Santa Trinita is a real masterpiece of Renaissance architecture; it is often called «the most beautiful bridge in the world» by tourists and visitors.

History

 History


In 1252 the noblesman Lamberto Frescobaldi sponsored the building of a new wooden bridge to join the important Via Tornabuoni with the other bank of the river Arno. The bridge collapsed in 1259 and was replaced by a stone bridge, but together with the Old Bridge it was completely destroyed during the flood of 1333. Reconstruction begun only in 1346 and proceeded very slowly: the new bridge was completed in 1415.
A new flood in 1557 destroyed once again the bridge, and Grand Duke Cosimo I de' Medici commissioned architect Bartolomeo Ammannati with the building of a new bridge: it had to be more resistant - and more elegant, due to the increased importance of Via Tornabuoni and Via maggio, where many families of the Medici's court had built their palaces. The planing of the new bridge lasted 10 years (Ammannati took even Michelangelo's advice) and the building was completed in 1567-70. This bridge was very beautiful, due to its elegant line and to the completely new design of the arches.
In 1608, in order to celebrate the wedding of Cosimo II de' Medici with Magdalene of Austria, the corners of the bridge were decorated with the statues of the Four Seasons we can see still today.


Click to enlarge pictures.

In august 1944 the bridge was destroyed again by mines laid by the retreating German army. In 1948 the City decided to rebuild the bridge «as it was and where it stood», instead of replace it with a modern bridge as proposed from some art historians.
Under direction of architect Gizdulich and engineer Brizzi the building begun only in 1955, after many disputes and long researches in order to resolve the puzzle of the arches, whose curve proved to be very difficult to calculate. For the reconstruction almost all original stones were recovered from the Arno, and the stone quarry in the Gardens of Boboli used by Ammannati in 16th Century was reopened.
The Santa Trinita bridge was completed in 1958; only the head of the Spring seemed to be lost forever: an American corporation offered a reward, in case that somebody took away the head as a "souvenir", but there was no response. It was in 1961, during manteinance works in the Arno, that the head was finally found and returned to its place.

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