Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Alpini Bridge of Bassano del Grappa

The Alpini Bridge from the South

The Alpini Bridge on Italy's Brenta River, symbol of the town of  Bassano del Grapp, was originally built in 1569 by Andrea Palladio although a wooden bridge has existed there since at least 1209. During the Great War it became famous as the Alpini Bridge after the elite mountain troops who marched over it on their way to Mte Grappa, last bastion of the post-Caporetto Italian defenses. While crossing the bridge they sang the sentimental song Sul Ponte di Bassano — "On the Bridge of Bassano" — about kissing a pretty girl and squeezing her hand as they parted. Destroyed several times, the current wooden bridge was rebuilt after its destruction in WWII by the Alpini, Italy's mountain brigade. At the entrance are two 16th-century arches. The views of town from the bridge are breathtaking. Across the bridge (left side in the photo) are the Museum of the Alpini and the historic Nardini Tavern overlooking the river.

My 2011 Tour Group on the Bridge

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