Animazione Testata



Hidden in the green countryside near Florence in Bagno a Ripoli (FI), the small stone arch bridge over the Rignalla brook, left tributary of the river Arno, has been recently discovered. The Reclamation Consortium of Central Tuscany, the authority for the protection and maintenance of soil and waterways, has entrusted us with a research project aimed at a cognitive analysis of the bridge and a rehabilitation and functional recovery project for a pedestrian public use. The date of the laying of the foundation-stone in unknown: it is believed to be a “Roman bridge”. The historical research, also supported by the static analysis to evaluate the degree of stability of such a structure, suggests the possibility to attribute the design of the bridge to Leonardo da Vinci.

Keywords: Stone arch bridge, Masonry, Non-linear analysis.


Stefano Galassi, Michele Paradiso, Giacomo Tempesta, Daniela Zerboni

Department of Architecture, University of Florence (FI), Italy 



The ancient bridge over the Rignalla brook was discovered in the 1970s by the “Committee for the Researches into the Material Culture of Tuscany” (Silvano Guerrini, Giovanni Caselli), who, immediately, highlighted its state of risk. In the report entitled “Summarizing Paper about the archaeological interesting places in the municipal territory of Bagno a Ripoli”, sent to the Municipality and to the offices of Superintendents, you can read “Bridge over the Romaiolo brook (Rignalla brook): in serious risk of collapse. It is the most ancient bridge in the territory of Bagno a Ripoli. From the bridge a paved road goes up to Rignalla. It must all be preserved as it represents the last remains of the pathway which led to the Parish of Villamagna” [1].

Again in 1997, in an article by Vittorio Mechi published in the local newspaper “Macchè”, this state of neglect and carelessness of the bridge as well as the necessity to restore it, is again underlined: “...In the neighbourhood there is also a very small arch bridge, along the ancient medieval pathway, near Rignalla, which the archaeological team of Bagno a Ripoli has gibbed and anchored by means of iron tubular supports so as to preserve it for our descendants”.

Given the state of risk of the bridge, the carelessness and the absence of maintenance, the authors, by this work, want to propose themselves as the promoters of an intervention of rescue aimed at the structural strengthening and restoration of this forgotten infrastructure, with the purpose to give it back its historical respect as well as a certain usefulness.

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Ultimo aggiornamento: 21/04/2013 23:55

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