Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge), also known as Ponti degli Alpini (Bridge of the Alpini) is a bridge in Bassano del Grappa over the Brenta River, in the northeast of Italy.
The first wooden bridge on the site was constructed between 1124 and 1209 and was destroyed by flooding in 1567. The reconstruction was led by one of the most famous architects of the time, Andrea Palladio. He designed it to resemble the original but with some structural improvements. In 1569 the new bridge was completed.
The bridge has been destroyed and rebuilt many times since then, always following Palladio's design. In 1748 there was another flood that took it down, and in 1813 it was destroyed by a fire.
It survived World War I (only sustaining damage to its roof) and became famous because it was crossed by the Italian Army on their way to the frontline which was just a few miles away from Bassano del Grappa.
In 1945, during World War II the bridge was destroyed by a bomb. In 1948 it was rebuilt again by former members of the Alpini, the Italian Army’s mountain infantry. Because of this and to honor the many Alpini who died in the wars, it became known as "Ponte degli Alpini."
Today, Ponte degli Alpini looks just as it did during the 16th century when it was rebuilt according to Palladio's designs. There have been no major floods that have taken it down recently, but because it is made mostly of wood it does need to be restored every so often. The latest reconstruction took place in 2021.
During the early 1900s cars were allowed to cross the bridge but today it is for pedestrians only and is a place where townspeople gather to chat, take a stroll or just admire the view.
View from the Bridge
You can see the bridge for yourself on our Grappa and Prosecco cyling tour.