The Ponte di Mezzo is the most famous bridge of Pisa. It connects the Piazza Garibaldi on the north bank of the river Arno with the Piazza XX Settembre and the Corso d’Italia. Once a year the Gioco di Ponte di Mezzo takes place on this bridge.
Ponte di Mezzo Pisa
Location and public transport
The Ponte di Mezzo connects Piazza Garibaldi with Piazza XX Settembre. Bus: LAM rossa, LAM verde, navetta E, 2, 4, 5, 14.
Special Events Ponte di Mezzo
At the Gioco di Ponte di Mezzo, which has been held annually since the 17th century, two teams of the contrade (contrada is an old word for “district”) Mezzogiorno and Tramontana try to push a cart to the opposite bank.
History and description
The Ponte di Mezzo is 89 meters long and 12.5 meters wide. It consists of a single arch and is made of reinforced concrete lined with a white stone from Verona.
The current appearance of the bridge is the result of a reconstruction that became necessary after allied bombardments in the 2nd World War had caused major damage.
In Roman times there was only one bridge. It was close to the current Santa Cristina Church, near an extension of the Via Aemilia Scauri (today’s Via San Martino).
In the 11th century a new bridge was built (the Ponte d’Arno), which was destroyed by a great flood in 1179. A few years later a new bridge was built (near Via Santa Maria) and the Ponte d’Arno was refurbished and renamed Ponte Vecchio.
On this bridge, which would later become the Ponte di Mezzo, all kinds of buildings, shops and market stalls were placed.
In 1388 it was restored by order of Pietro Gambacorti.
In 1637 the bridge collapsed again, to be restored by Francesco Nave in 1660. However, a number of buildings on the banks had to be knocked down on both sides. On the side the photogenic Logge dei Banchi was erected.