An international design competition is underway
Leonardo wanted to depict a typical landscape of central Italy in the background of the most famous portrait of all time, the Mona Lisa. Lush vegetation under a clear sky suggests the mildness of the local climate.
However, the enigmatic smile on Mona Lisa's face makes it easy to overlook the details of the painting. The arches of an ancient bridge can be seen just behind the woman's left shoulder, for example. According to several art historians, this work of medieval architecture depicts the Buriano Bridge, which still exists in a hamlet of Arezzo and can still be crossed today.
In fact, the structure, with its massive Romanesque arches, represents the only link along the 'Setteponti' provincial road between Arezzo and the Upper Valdarno area.
Moreover, over than seven centuries of "honoured service" is a long time - the work dates back to the second half of the 13th century (1277). Monitoring efforts have revealed a progressive failure of the structure. This prompted the Province of Arezzo to plan a new bridge to the north of the current one, complete with the necessary road links, so that heavy goods vehicles can travel on the Setteponti road once again, something which has been prohibited for some time because of the instability of the Buriano Bridge. The project includes restoration and conservation of the Romanesque work, so that the old Buriano Bridge can be upgraded, uncovering the old cobblestones that now lie under the asphalt road surface and making the zone an ideal natural area for slow tourism.
Cassa Depositi e Prestiti has worked alongside the Province of Arezzo, providing technical advice for the start of the design process that will lead to the construction of the new infrastructure and the development of an alternative road network, and contributing to the preparation of documents for the recently published international tender, for which applications are open until April 8, 2021.
CDP's commitment is in line with its mission to support local authorities in carrying out public utility projects that benefit the economic development and attractiveness of local areas.