History, art and traditions all in one symbol: this is what Ponte Vecchio means to the Bassano area. Many different souls are in it: the painful memory of the World Wars, the genius of one of the most influential personalities in the history of Western architecture – Andrea Palladio – as well as a sincere joyful spirit, typical of the Veneto region. With any approach you use to cross it – artistic, historic or gastronomic – it is impossible to cross the Bridge of Bassano without being totally fascinated.
Since its birth, documented in 1209 by the medieval chronicler Gerardo Maurisio, the Bridge often experienced the wrath of the floods of the Brenta River, as that of men. Several reconstruction projects were carried out; the third – being the most significant – after the destruction of the February 17, 1945 during the partisan struggle and the retreat of the Germans in World War II. The bridge was rebuilt according to the original design of Palladio by the will of the Alpine Association, tenacious guardians of the symbol of the city.
Today Ponte Vecchio needs urgent cares and requires major restoration work, as well as safety improvements. The structure has yielded of a few centimeters between the second and the third span and the constant water flow has damaged wooden parts.
The mobilization of the Municipal Administration and citizens, to maintain Bassano’s beating heart in good health, has been prompt and significant. The result is the Aiutiamo il Ponte di Bassano initiative (Helping the Bridge of Bassano), http://www.farmapet.it/886-farmacia sponsored by the City of Bassano del Grappa and in cooperation with National Alpine Association Montegrappa, which is promoting a fundraising campaign to finance the restoration work.
The initiative also involves the University of Padua, with a valuable research on the state of preservation and safety conditions, and on possible repair, reinforcement and restoration works. The scientific advisor is Prof. Claudio Modena, who operates in civil engineering projects, both in the public and private sectors, nationally and internationally.
The professor, together with Professor John Carbonara from La Sapienza University in Rome and Professor Toshikazu Hanazato from Tokyo University, is one of the most prominent players in his field, and presented a project at the summit hosted in Bassano on January 13, 2015 for the restoration of the bridge. Three of the leading experts on the reconstruction of architectural heritages, shared working methods to face the critical issues of the structure and establish a schedule that can define all the steps required to restore its beauty and functionality.
BELFIORE also joined this initiative. An enlightened choice, which is realized through its products, that are often inspired by its presence, having been born in the surrounding area. Part of the revenues from the sales of the “CIELO” collection will be donated to National Alpine Association Montegrappa to support the restructuring of the Bridge.
True to its philosophy, BELFIORE knows and protect the value of history and the beauty of its territory, because without love for its’ origins, the future has no light.