The Medici Bridge of Cappiano
The Medici Bridge of Cappiano over the Usciana canal, emissary of the Fucecchio Marsh, played in the past an important role in the inland navigation system, allowing, until the nineteenth century reclamation, commercial relations in the stretch between Pistoia and Pisa.
Its present aspect dates back to the first half of the sixteenth century when Cosimo I de 'Medici decided on its rebuilding, as documented by the marble epigraphs on its brick structures. The open and covered bridge and the various outbuildings date back to that period: the tavern, the iron foundry, the mill and the house of the farm administrator.
Since the Middle Ages, however, there is news of this bridge, managed by the Ospitalieri di Altopascio and included in the itinerary of the Via Francigena. In 1325, during a conflict between Florence and Lucca, it was destroyed. It was later rebuilt and equipped with a tower and drawbridges, a weir to regulate the outflow of water and eel fishing. There was also a mill and a water saw for cutting timber. It is precisely in the late-thirteenth century forms that Leonardo represents this bridge in the map of the Arno valley RL 12685 of the Windsor collection.
Address: Ponte Cappiano, Fucecchio
GPX coordinates: 43.7444027,10.7696083