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Wonder  }  Architecture

Devil's Bridge in Cividale

Stones, history and legend cross read the Natisone River


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Where is

Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Ponte del Diavolo, Corso Paolino d'Aquileia, 19, 33043 Cividale del Friuli UD, Italia (118m s.l.m.)


What it is and where it is

Two stone arches gracefully cross the Natisone River, creating a stone bridge that, suspended 22 meters high, leads into the heart of Cividale del Friuli. It is a bridge at once ancient and young: it has its roots in the village's distant past, but it had to regain its strength to rise from its ashes after collapsing under the violence of the Great War. Today, it is a gateway to the town's main square, suspended between the liveliness of the people who cross it every day and the serenity of the river waters and the landscape that surrounds it.

Why it is special

The view from the bridge is incredible: those who look out from this superb architecture can forget about the traffic and the city for a moment, and admire the blue waters of the river and the green gorge that winds at the foot of the Bridge. Leaning out a little from the balconies, one can observe the steep, high walls that the Natisone River has carved through the limestone rock over time.

Don't miss

Right near the bridge it is possible to descend to the river bank. From here you can admire the bridge and the gorge from a new vantage point. But you also get a closer look at the boulder on which the central pylon of the bridge rests. It seems that this very boulder was brought by the devil's mother. The people of Cividale, in fact, turned to the devil to build the bridge, who finished it in a single night in exchange for the soul of the first person to cross it. As soon as the bridge was ready, the townspeople let through it-a dog. The devil, defeated, petrified the animal out of rage.

A bit of history

Built of stone starting in 1442 and divided into two arches, it rests on a natural boulder placed in the bed of the Natisone River. The bridge rests on three piers, developing 48 m over two arches of different widths, an asymmetry that is due to the position of the boulder on which the central pier rests. It remained unchanged until 1917 when during the defeat of Caporetto it was blown up to slow the enemy advance, to no avail. It was rebuilt exactly the same by the Germans, who took just over six months.


To mark the centenary of the Battle of Cividale, a series of commemorative events were held in 2017. To mark the occasion, a giant anamorphic painting was created on the floor and parapets of the bridge, depicting what it looked like just after its destruction in 1917. The work was created by a team of European artists from nations that were at war at the time as a symbolic sign of newfound peace. This painting, named "The Voice of the Apparent Ephemeral," with its surface area of 570 square meters is the largest anamorphic work created in Italy and one of the largest in Europe.

Time lapse showing the making of the anamorphic painting work "The Voice of the Apparent Ephemeral"

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Mara Tomietto

Characteristic bridge, linked to the legend of its construction... The view from the bridge is amazing (considering that it is just over 22 meters high), very impressive is going down to the bed of the Natisone River.