/ / The Ponte di Pietra: photos, description (Ponte di Pietra)

The Ponte di Pietra: photos, description (Ponte di Pietra)

The Ponte di Pietra, whose name can be translated as "stone bridge", is a Roman arch bridge in the town of Aosta in the Italian region of Val d'aosta. The bridge spanned the river Buthier, about 600 meters from the Eastern entrance to the Roman colony of Augusta Pretoria, the precursor to Aosta, 150 metres to the East of the arch of Augustus.

The span of the Ponte di Pietra is 17.1 m in length and 5.9 meters in width. Arched vault lined with huge canted bricks, but veneer is made of Swiss Sandstone. The bridge is dated to the second half of the reign of Emperor Augustus (30 BC - 14 ad), who actually founded the military colony Augusta Pretoria at strategically important crossroads. Ponte di Pietra also had a strategic importance, since in Aosta the transalpine Gaul road forks at passes Small and Large Saint Bernard. And in a South-easterly direction - in the direction of the Po valley the road passed through another arch bridge - the well-preserved Ponte San Martino, located at the exit of the Aosta valley. This bridge was also built in the 1st century BC and has approximately 32 meters in length.

In the Middle ages as a result of severe flood water stream Buthier changed its direction of flow to the West. Under the Ponte di Pietra with only a small trickle, which eventually dried out completely. The bridge lost its importance and was gradually entered the land. Only this time, he was again brought to light.

In Val d'aosta there is another well preserved Roman bridge - Pont d AEL, located in the eponymous town. This bridge was built in the 3rd century BC and was used to supply military colony of Augusta Pretoria water for agricultural purposes. He was part of an elaborate 6-kilometer-long aqueduct, laid on the steep cliffs of the valley. Today it is a Hiking trail.