Then and now, Ponte delle Catene

Ponte delle Catene, the chain suspension bridge that connects Fornoli and Chifenti is now a pedestrian bridge. It was commissioned by Carlo Ludovico in 1840 after the original stone bridge dating from 1317 was washed away in a flood.

Here are some old photos.

 

Ponte Catene

Ponte Catene

Ponte Catene

Lorenzo Nottolini was the architect. He erected arches reminiscent of Roman Triumphal arches on either side of the river. The wooden roadway  was destroyed by retreating Germans in WWII. It was replaced in 1950.

This is a photo of the bridge during the reconstruction. (Thank you to Alessandro for the correction)

Ponte Catene

Today the bridge is still impressive.

Ponte Catene

Ponte Catene

Ponte Catene

Ponte Catene

Ponte Catene

Ponte Catene

There are excellent views to be had from the bridge.

Ponte Catene

Ponte Catene

…just another of the treasures in Bagni di Lucca.

Ponte delle Catene, Fornoli

The beautiful Ponte delle Catene in Fornoli was commissioned by the Duke of Lucca, Charles Louis de Bourbon, to replace an earlier bridge (built in the 1300s) which was washed away in a flood in 1836.

The chain suspension bridge crosses the Lima River from Fornoli to the little piazza in Chifenti. It is now a pedestrian bridge.

Architect Lorenzo Nottolini was sent to England to study suspension bridges there. The bridge was begun in 1844 and completed in 1860, making it one of the first suspension bridges in Italy.

The road section of the bridge was destroyed in WWII and was rebuilt in 1950.

It looks very majestic, especially in the early evening light.

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The views from the bridge are spectacular.

…looking up river towards Ponte a Serraglio.

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…looking down river towards Borgo a Mozzano.

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To see another wonderful Lorenzo Nottolini structure click here.

While you are there admiring the bridge, call in for a coffee at Cafe Catene and say hello to Paolo.