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Towers  Bridge  (Ponte delle Torri)

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Towers Bridge, a bridge of towers, is an extraordinary structure whose bulk and beauty is a unique landmark in Spoleto. It is an imposing structure built of blocks of local limestone composed of nine enormous pillars that support ten round arches; on top is a road that connects the St Elia hill with the Rocca Albornoziana (Fortress) to the town of Spoleto and Mount Luco. The bridge serves a dual purpose – it connects the hill to the city and it is part of an aqueduct. In fact, alongside the road is a canal that carries water from the mount to the town. The date of the bridge, over 80m high (240 ft) and 236m (700 ft) long, is uncertain. Some scholars date it to the 1200s built on the ruins of an ancient Roman aqueduct; others claim it is from the 14th century when the cardinal Albornoz commissioned the fortress on the mount. It got its name most likely from two ancient towers that guarded the ends – one on mount St Elia and the other near the Fortino dei Mulini (a watermill), where there are still today two city-owned watermills that collect water from the mount and convey it to the bridge. The two center pillars have hollow bases, and there are rooms probably used long ago by guards who controlled the aqueduct and goods in transit subject to customs taxes.

The bridge has always been a favorite place from which to enjoy a breathtaking view of the town and valley, which will awe visitors and tourists just as it did the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who dedicated an entire page to it in his book Viaggi in Italia (Travels in Italy). There is a plague commemorating this fact near the bridge itself.

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