The Sordo bridge

A roman bridge in Val Ponci

Only the ramps remain of the Sordo bridge while the arch that arched over Rio Ponci was lost.

This bridge was also part of the Augustan structures of the via Iulia Augusta, initiated by the emperor Augustus in 13 BCE so to connect the area of the Po Valley to southern Gaul. The road reached the coast at Vada Sabatia (Vado Ligure). Of all the infrastructures of this roman road in Val Ponci there are five bridges datable between the Augustan age and 125 CE

The two ramps of the bridge are delimited by lateral abutments that are characterised by regular quadrangular blocks, placed in horizontal layers and made only of Finale Stone, all in the wall building technique called petit appareil or “small apparatus”. In some parts the original mortar joints have been preserved.

A large rectangular block, placed at the sides of the ramps, is what remains of the original setting of the arch of the bridge that had a certain monumentality. On the southern side of the river parts of the bridge were reused in making rural walls.

Archaeological excavations carried out around the bridge brought evidence of how this part of the via Iulia Augusta presented the characteristics of a “via glareata”, an earthen road with a gravelled surface, typical of roman roads close to urban centres.

To discover close to Sordo bridge

The Fate bridge is situated lower down in the Rio Ponci valley; it is 164 m a.s.l. The name comes from the dialectal word “faje” which means sheep.
The remains of the roman Magnone bridge are situated in a thick woodland setting at around 290 m a.s.l. in proximity of the head of Val Ponci under San Giacomo where the precedent river basin was cut with the formation of the current Val Ponci fossil valley system.
The Muto (or Voze) bridge is situated in Val Ponci where the altimetry of the valley lowers drastically going from over 200 m to just 183 m a.s.l.
The roman Acqua bridge in Val Ponci takes its name from the fact that it is close to a modern building that belongs to the finalese aqueduct.
On the steep eastern slope of Val Ponci, between the Acqua and Voze bridges, there is a vast area where Finale stone was extracted with three big quarries. The extraction areas were at an altitude between 217 and 238 m a.s.l.

HOW TO REACH

THE SORDO BRIDGE

How to reach the site

The Val Ponci can be explored on foot or by bike starting from Verzi or coming down from Colla di San Giacomo close to Magnone.

Visit

Guided tours in the valley are part of the Archeotrekking events, organised by the Archaeological Museum of Finale.

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