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October 8, 2019: Ponte Coperto, Pavia, Italy


Ponte Coperto simply means 'covered bridge'. It is sometimes also referred to merely as Ponte Vecchio ('old bridge') and is one of the key landmarks of the town of Pavia in south-western Lombardy.


Below is a view from the bridge across the river, the Ticino. It joins the river Po a few kilometres further down from here.


As you walk along the bridge you come across this plaque commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of Albert Einstein's death (as well as the centenary of his ground-breaking publications in 1905):


The plaque carries a quote from Einstein, which translates as “I have often thought about the nice bridge in Pavia”. His parents moved here in the mid-1890s and he apparently visited them on several occasions.

The bridge which Einstein saw, however, is not the one we see today. The original bridge dated from 1354, but it was all but destroyed by Allied action in 1945. The replacement was broadly modelled on the original design and was finished in 1951. Below is a photo of its southern end as well as a close-up that shows more clearly the small chapel situated in the middle.



In the photos the Ticino river looks idyllic and calm. However, there are clearly times when it is much less well-behaved. We stayed in one of the houses on the southern bank. A few doors down the owners had marked, on their wall, the river levels in the autumn of 1994 and 2000, respectively:

 PB_PHOTO7The markers (in brown and blue) can be seen on the left of the photo, just below and above the house number. The flooding must have been devastating for the whole area.


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