Lecco, fortified village, has Azzone Visconti as out post on Adda river
Azzone Visconti is strictly linked to Lecco, thanks to him Lecco was an important fortified village controlling trading routes to north and beyond Alps. For Lecco’s inhabitants Azzone Visconti Bridge is “Ponte Vecchio” (“old bridge”).
He wanted a bridge on the Adda river, this was, built between 1336 and 1338, “where the Lake Como ends and Adda restarts” as Alessandro Manzoni wrote in The Betrothed. This bridge had several purposes: military, trading routes’ control, connection to Valsassina and Milan.
Firstly it had eight arches with two defensive towers on its extremities equipped with a lift bridge, a central tower and a Chapel dedicated to Virgin Mary. On Lecco’s shore a canal divided it from inshore and through it all the boats passed.
Few years after its construction, between 1349 and 1354, two further arches were added to facilitate Adda river outflow because Como claimed for high water. In 1440 the last one arch was added reaching the actual 11 arches.
In early 2015 the bridge is facing maintenance and cultural renovation.
A precious trace of Lecco’s history: the Azzone Visconti Bridge.
Cover’s image: Ph. Irene Lombardi