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Spoleto: The Ponte Sanguinario


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One of the two visible arches of this Roman bridge at the foot of Spoleto.

Handsomely built of squared travertine blocks towards the end of the 1c B.C., it was part of Augustus's great restoration of the Via Flaminia, then 200 years old.

All three arches made it thru the ages, only to be very sadly "displayed". The Tessino river no longer flows under the bridge, but twenty meters to the south; one arch has been impossible to excavate, and the other two have wound up buried in a hard-to‑find dark and exiguous concrete pit under the piazza della Vittoria: a very busy and very ugly traffic circle. (The weight of the piazza accounts for the modern brick supporting wall you see across the arch.)

Spoleto in general is a bit of a disappointment; yet, unburied and landscaped, this attractive Roman bridge would be the first thing the visitor saw on arriving in town: what a difference that would make! 
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Page updated: 28 Sep 06