Exploring a 2000 year-old bridge in the Cortona rain forest


Last Sunday over coffee, our neighbours told us about an ancient Roman bridge hidden away in the forest only 5km from Cortona town. I've been visiting Cortona for 15 years and hadn't heard of this bridge, and Carlo had a vague memory of visiting it as a child; it's one of those forgotten "local secrets". So we set off for an adventure with the kids and Carlo's Dad to find the forgotten bridge!

Firstly we descended at least a kilometre into the gorge, trekking through thick vines and foliage, to find gushing cascades. It reminded me of Cape Tribulation; lush, green rain forest you could easily get lost in.

We followed the stream as directed and found the bridge. It's astounding how it is still in perfect condition 2000 years later, albeit covered in moss and ivy. Giacomo has been studying Roman history at school and was delighted to fill us in on their civil engineering feats.

After our adventures we went and enjoyed a fantastic 4 course Tuscan lunch and continued to talk about this incredible bridge. 2000 years ago it would have been crossed daily; a busy traffic bridge linking the many small mountain hamlets. These mountains were far more populous back then compared to the present day, and such bridges would have been a vital link. Now it's abandoned, set in overgrown forest, yet the stonework is still perfect.

Giacomo is excited about upcoming visits to Pompeii and the Leonardo Di Vinci museum this summer holidays. How fortunate we are to have such diverse experiences. Whether it's a refreshing swim in Yallingup or exploring a Roman bridge, we are very lucky indeed!