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Cardona Bridge

Journey to the Center of Italy


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Where is


Str. dei Pini, 23-27, 05035 Narni TR, Italia (256m s.l.m.)


What it is and where it is

Umbria offers countless opportunities to get lost in nature. A truly evocative path can be found in Montello, near Narni. It takes place within a forest of holm oaks and oaks, majestic trees that accompany the traveler like old friends. At a certain point, however, the vegetation thins out, until it stops altogether and then resumes further on: we encountered the Collari ditch, almost always dry, but deep enough to make walking uncomfortable. The trail, on the other hand, seems to go on undisturbed, as if it did not concern it.

Why it is special

If you move a little to the side you can see the trick: there is a bridge. Built with square blocks of stone, a beautiful slender arch with a profile elegantly framed by travertine blocks... But what is it doing in the middle of a forest? Many things. The most intuitable, it saves us from having to go down and up into the ditch. The second, it will probably strike us as we look at it: despite its perfect state of preservation, this bridge is very old: it was part of the Roman aqueduct of the Formina, which carried water collected in springs in the area to Narni.

Not to be missed

Strange to say, Cardona Bridge is not the strangest thing seen in this place. In fact, not far away, one encounters a stone cippus whose top is shaped in the form of a spiral. In the middle, a metal peg rises up: this is where the geographical center of Italy is located. Or rather, it is one of the candidates claiming primacy. The Military Geographical Institute itself does not comment on the subject, since depending on the criteria they adopt, calculation and results change. What is certain is that touching the tip of this striking sculpture one really feels in the heart of our beautiful Italy!

A bit of history

The aqueduct, and consequently the bridge, date back to the first century AD indicatively around 27 AD. The project was overseen by Marcus Cocceius Nerva, an official in charge of controlling the management of aqueducts. A decidedly familiar name: this curator aquarum is none other than the grandfather of the future Emperor Nerva. The Cardona Bridge, along with the Old Bridge, is one of the two survivors out of the 4 that made up the aqueduct, and it still excellently supports the path to climb over the ditch.

Ponte CardonaOn the Cardona Bridge

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Exploring Umbria

The emotions given by history combine with those aroused by being in the geographic center of Italy. Plus, we are in the midst of a lush forest-what could be better?