The Old Bridge, the Alpini’s Bridge, the Bridge of Bassano… How many names does the Bassano Bridge have? The bridge over the Brenta River is the symbol of this famous Italian city.
The Old Bridge of Bassano del Grappa (also reported in our company logo and location of our main store) has a long and troubled story. It was destroyed several times, either by humans or by nature.
The first documented information about the bridge dates back to 1209. It was initially a very simple wooden structure, supported by just two pillars and with a roof; but at the same time it was very important for the communication between Bassano and the city of Vicenza.
In 1315, Bassano was involved in a war between Padova and Cangrande della Scala; Cangrande occupied Marostica (a town nearby) and Angarano (the block right accros the river from our shop) and during that period two towers were built to defend the bridge.
After a century, in 1402, the lord of Milan Gian Galeazzo Visconti (which was in open war with the Carraresi family) tried to divert the river with the aim of depriving Padua of its defence. Galeazzo built a new stone bridge, with wooden doors used as sliding gates, but in the night between the 6th and the 7th of August a flooding completely destroyed the structure.
In 1511, during the war against the Cambrai League, the French troops set the bridge on fire in the attempt of escaping from the Imperial soldiers. For yet another time Bassano lost its main communication mean. Once again, in 1567 another flooding destroyed the bridge.
The architect Andrea Palladio proposed a new design for the reconstruction of the bridge made of stones. This first project was rejected by the City Council that asked for another submission. In the summer of 1569 a new project was presented to the city; this time Palladio designed a wooden bridge, similar to the previous one but enriched with new cutting edge technical and structural solutions, being able to survive from the river floods.
The bridge of Palladio is the Ponte di Bassano as we known it now. It resisted for almost 200 years but collapsed again in 1748. Bartolomeo Ferracina rebuilt it, but then in 1813 the soldiers of Viceroy Eugenio di Beauharnais burned and destroyed the bridge once again. After that the bridge was restored (this time was the works were led by Angelo Casarotti).
During the First World War, the Old Bridge resisted the passage of the Italian troops directed to Monte Grappa and Asiago. In the Second World, the bridge was destroyed by the partisans in the 17th February 1945. After 3 years, for the last time, the bridge was rebuilt following the project of Palladio and since then it is standing in its place, connecting both sides of our lovely city.