Fiume Arno

The Naval Bridge and Harbor

An important example of water transportation in the area

In a map from the 14th century, the Naval Bridge was represented as a hand-built masonry structure with two spans and a central pile with a hexagon form. It likely had wood framing also. This description is confirmed in the map drawn by Leonardo Da Vinci in 1502.

During the reign of Cosimo II, the bridge was demolished and reconstructed in masonry, probably with a single span as it is shown in a map from 1646 in which the bridge is represented with a single arch. In 1815 Gugliantini drew the south elevation of the bridge, which shows that the bridge stayed the same until the early- to mid-19th century.

During the first stage of work, which was done to deepen and widen the section of the Chiana Master Canal, the bridge was demolished and reconstructed with wood. Once the work was completed between 1882 and 1890, the bridge was reconstructed with piles in masonry and framed in iron. It was later destroyed in battle and then reconstructed in reinforced concrete. Located next to the bridge was the last remaining harbor for boats that arrived from the extreme south of the marshlands. The merchandise produced in the area, which was mostly from the Grand Duke’s farms and the Santo Stefano Knight's Order, was unloaded here and stored in a nearby warehouse. The warehouse was constructed in 1781 by the farm tenets of the S. Stefano Knight's Order. The merchandise stored here was then sold in the markets of Arezzo, Valdarno, and mostly in Florence. The warehouse was reduced in 1882 during construction work to widen the Master Canal.

The structure still exists today and has been restored in a way that conserves its original architectural features. It is an unique example of the area’s importance since the mid-19th century, when the Master Canal stopped being used for water transportation.

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