Fortezza bridge

Ponte della Fortezza (L. Corevi, Comune di Pisa)
Ponte della Fortezza (L. Corevi, Comune di Pisa)
Originally, the Spina Alba bridge, named after its hosting districy, connected the church of San Barnaba, now disappeared, to the church of Sant'Andrea in Kinzica, also disappeared and of which today we can only see the base of its bell tower (leaning) at the entrance to the Scotto Garden. The bridge was built in 1260 in wood and stone and was later fortified when Bonifazio della Gherardesca commissioned the Vittoriosa tower (near the disappeared Spina Alba gate) in memory of the victory against Ludovico il Bavaro. The tower completely demolished in the 18th century. At the beginning of the 15th century, the bridge was rebuilt in masonry with four arches and fortified by the Florentines who included it in the defensive system of the Fortezza Nuova, hence the name of the present bridge. The bridge was destroyed during the Second World War.

The Palio di San Ranieri: The palio of Pisa is held on 17 June, in honour of the patron saint. Originally, it was organised to celebrate the Assumption and was divided into river and land competitions during which twenty young people from the city aspired to the palio, from the Latin pallium, veil, cloth. After an interruption during the wars against Florence, the palio resumed in modern times with some modifications. The drape was exposed above the antenna of Ponte di Mezzo and in the Arno, on a barge, where a flag was placed, called fiamma. The admitted boats had to gather around the antenna and then go to the Mare bridge, today Cittadella, and wait for the starting signal. After about 1500 meters, the boarding of the barge took place and the fitter who accompanied the crew had to climb the antenna to conquer the flag. The contending boats resume the appearance of the frigates of the order of Santo Stefano are of four different colours corresponding to the four historic districts inside the walls: green for Sant'Antonio, red for San Martino, yellow for San Francesco e light blue for Santa Maria. Today, the palio to be won is placed on a boat near the Renaioli dock, visible under the Fortezza bridge on the left, while the start is always near the Cittadella bridge.

Regatta of the Maritime Republics: The competition was born in 1955 in order to remember the glories of the four Republics of Pisa, Amalfi, Genoa and Venice and was held for the first time in Pisa in 1956 under the presidency of Giovanni Gronchi. The Regatta is preceded by an imposing procession that shows some characters or salient episodes of the history of the four contending republics and takes place every year in one of the four cities, in turn. The galleons compete on a route of two kilometres. The first crew to cross the finish line wins the trophy, a rowing galleon supported by four seahorses, in gold and silver, which remains in the possession of the winning city for a year and then is made available again for the competition. Each galleon has a colour and a bow figurehead representing a city symbol: red boat and imperial eagle for Pisa; blue boat and winged horse for Amalfi; white boat and dragon of San Giorgio for Genoa; green boat and winged lion of San Marco for Venice.

Pisa-Pavia historical regatta: It is the second oldest university regatta in the world, after that of Oxford. The first edition was established by the fascist government in 1929 to commemorate the Pisan and Pavese students who participated in the battle of Curtatone on 29 May 1848. The two crews compete on a 1000-meter stretch, they must be strictly male and of course made up of university students. The regatta generally takes place alternately in Pisa or Pavia between May and the first days of June.

Quot. 'Still on the marble bridge, cast your gaze, if you do not get blinded, on its bottom burning as fire; then follow the graceful curves of the palaces on the Lung'Arno, whose perspective is dominated by the massive prison-tower glimpsed in the dark perspective, and tell me if anything else can rival a sunset in Pisa.'

Lord Byron
Last update: 26/01/2021
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