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Pia Bridge (Ponte della Pia), Sovicille, Siena. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

Ponte della Pia: a medieval bridge along the Rosia

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A very suggestive medieval bridge linked by legend to the historical figure of Pia de’ Tolomei is located next to the road that connects Siena to Roccastrada. In fact, along the highway 73 that leads from Siena to Roccastrada. A few km after passing through the town of Rosia, and before the crossroads with the state road No. 541. The Ponte della Pia is located on the left of the road, coming from Siena.

This medieval bridge that crosses the Rosia stream with a single arch was probably once one of the main passages along the path of the ancient Via Massetana that connected Siena with Massa Marittima and the Metalliferous Hills. The construction of the bridge probably dates back to the early thirteenth century.

Crossing the Ponte della Pia on foot, you reach the remains of the ancient hermitage of S. Lucia in about twenty minutes. A hermitage of medieval origin, which seems to have been built between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Beyond the bridge we find an ancient paved road, rebuilt in the mid-fifteenth century, and named “Strada Manliana”. The bridge may also have been built to facilitate the passage of monks who came and went from the hermitage of Santa Lucia.

Ponte della Pia, Sovicille, Siena. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

Pia Bridge (Ponte della Pia), Sovicille, Siena. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini


The bridge is also linked to a suggestive legend connected to the famous historical figure of Pia de ‘Tolomei. Sienese gentlewoman also mentioned by Dante Alighieri in Canto V of the Purgatory of her Divine Comedy. According to the legend, during the moonless nights, the ghost of an all-white woman appears with a veil covering her face near this place. The woman walks on the bridge without touching the ground. The name of the bridge is traditionally traced back to Pia de’ Tolomei and tradition makes the ghost of the woman coincide with that of Pia de’ Tolomei.



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