The Ponte Santa Trinita is the bridge you see from the Ponte Vecchio. The very elegant bridge is the oldest elliptic arch bridge in the world. It is the work of Ammananti, built between 1567 and 1569, replacing previous wooden bridges over the Arno.
In 1608 the bridge was embellished by four statues representing the seasons.
Spring and summer…
Autumn and winter…
The magnificent goat’s head medallions in the centre of the middle arch are a reference to Cosimo di Medici’s Zodiac sign, Capricorn.
During WWII Ponte Santa Trinita was bombed, along with all the other bridges in Florence, except the Ponte Vecchio. It was replaced by the British military with a Bailey Bridge.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
After the war Florentines and the Italian government determined to rebuild the bridge. The Arno was damned and the bridge rubble was dragged from the mud at the bottom. Extra stone was mined from the same quarry as the original and every care was taken by architect Riccardo Gizdulich to recreate the bridge using the techniques of the original builders.
The four statues were recovered, put back together, except for the head of Spring, which was not found. The statues were replaced in their original positions and the bridge was declared open in 1958. Spring’s head was found by a diver in 1961 and the statue was complete.
Ponte Santa Trinita plays second fiddle to the Ponte Vecchio, but I think it is every bit as beautiful. Here are a few more photos I have gathered.