The Bridge of the Visconti Family

From Preservation to Maintenance for a Safeguard Strategy.

Nowadays, we realize the importance of our historical-artistic heritage only when a dramatic event occurs and it deprives irremediably us of a part of a historical conscience that is the fundamental element of the unity of a people.

However, the loss of a monument is never a sudden and inexplicable action: the ancient construction, designed according to the Vitruvian triad of firmitas, utilitas, venustas, always gives warning signs of its conditions. But the correct preservation of cultural inheritance also depends on the nature of the projects that are made for it.

These projects often come from the wrong and dangerous idea that the only possible operation is to consolidate the existing construction by using building methods of modern conception.The recent regulations relevant to the seismic issue have raised, instead, the need to use suitable instruments to intervene on the monument with a methodologically correct process, combining the undelayable necessities to achieve high levels of safety with the need to protect the monument itself.

The case study of the Visconti Bridge in Valeggio sul Mincio, an extraordinary example of hydraulic engineering and military architecture of the late Middle Ages, translates, on the operational plan, the need for an urgent restoration project based on minimum intervention.

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Author: Giorgia Strabbioli

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Keywords: Fortified Bridge, Visconti, Military Architecture, Heritage, Conservation, Hydraulic Engineering

Giorgia Strabbioli

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