The Ponte Santa Trinita, meticulously rebuilt to its former grandeur after its destruction by fleeing German vandals in 1944, has been re-opened to traffic across the river Arno.
G.Top V. Florence.
G.V. Of new bridge.
S.V. People looking at figures on bridge.
S.V. Tilt up headless figure.
C.V. Crowd-pan over to figure.
L.V. People at entrance of bridge.
Top V.Pan of Bridge.
L.V. Clergy blessing bridge.
S.V. Woman cutting tape.
G.V. Procession over bridge.
Top S.V. Crowds over bridge.
Back V. People on to bridge.
Top V. Crowds over bridge.
G.Side V.Pan Bridge.
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Background: The Ponte Santa Trinita, meticulously rebuilt to its former grandeur after its destruction by fleeing German vandals in 1944, has been re-opened to traffic across the river Arno.
After a ceremony in the Palazzo Vecchio, attended by the President of the Italian Council Signor Adone Zoli, the ribbon barrier was out by a mother of a heroine of the Resistance, Tina Lorenzoni, and the bridge was blessed by the Archbishop of Florence, Cardinal Elia Della Costa.
The bridge has been reconstructed by Mr. Emilio Brizzi an engineer and the architect Riccardo Gizdulich from plans lodged with Michelangelo Buonarroti in 1566 by the original architect Ammainati. The stones of the destroyed bridge were catalogued and numbered, and those too badly shattered were replaced by others hewn from stone and marble of the same texture and colour as the ancient pieces. It is now difficult to distinguish between the old stones and the new.
The statue of Primavera, one of the four statues of the Seasons at the corners of the bridge, still lacks a hand and its head; but inresponse to popular feeling the authorities have consented to have a new head and arm made from photographs of the original.
The Ponte Santa Trinita was first built in the year 1252 but collapsed in 1269. It was rebuilt by the Dominican Friars Sisto and Ristoro, but once again it fell during the flood of 1333. Twice more the bridge collapsed until it was rebuilt by the Engineer to the Grand Duke Cosimo dei Medici between the years 1566 and 1571. It is from the plans drawn up by Ammainati at this time that the bridge has just been rebuilt.
The whole city feels proud of the achievement of rebuilding this bridge faithfully to the best old traditions. War destroyed 'the world's most beautiful bridge' but men of peace have rebuilt it.