Legend: The Annibale bridge – Pinasca

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Good morning to everybody!
Today I’m in Dubbione, part of Pinasca, in Chisone valley, to recount you about a bridge and its origin. This nice arch bridge, built with stone, crosses Grandubbione rivulet and it’s called Annibale’s bridge. Do you remember who Annibale was? How about a review?

On my back you can see Annibale bridge on Grandubbione river
On my back you can see Annibale bridge on Grandubbione river

Annibale Barca was a Carthaginian captain and political leader who lived in 3rd century b.C.
At that time, Cathage territory included the northern coasts of Africa, Sardinia, Corsica and the coasts of southern Spain. During the second Punic war, it was precisely from Spain that Annibale departed with his soldiers. He marched through Spain and France and finally crossed the Alps with his troops to come as a surprise against Roman Empire, with which he was at war. An incredible venture, you say? Yes, but what made even unbelievable that journey were the strange mounts used by Annibale: the elephants!

The bridge, with a single arch, is built by stone and bricks
The bridge, with a single arch, is built by stone and bricks

Well, try to figure out the surprise of the Roman soldiers when they faced not only the Cathaginian army, but also 37 elephants! The legend connected to our Dubbione bridge tells that Annibale ordered to his soldiers to build it in order to cross the river riding on the back of the pachyderms which carried the supplies. Imagine that huge animals, maybe dolled up with intense colours, with their heavy steps echoing like thunders in this small and calm alpine hamlet. Even if I love this conception, actually… it’s just a legend!

According to the legend, Annibale rest with his army in this place
According to the legend, Annibale rest with his army in this place

Annibale really crossed the Alps, but this bridge wasn’t build by him. Its construction, indeed, comes from times much closer to ours, when, during Middle Ages, it was erected to continue the ancient Road of Fenestrelle and connect Pinasca to the areas of Prà Boutè and Orsa.

A bridge like this surely can stand the weight of an elephant!
A bridge like this surely can stand the weight of an elephant!

How to get here
In order to reach the Annibale’s bridge from Pinerolo you have to take Strada Provinciale 23 del Colle del Sestriere and go straight until you reach Via Nazionale in Villar Perosa. Turn right before a bridge on Grandubbione river, and then you’ll be in Via Antica di Fenestrelle, in the town of Pinasca. Go straight on this road, and after more or less 300 meters you’ll find on your right Fontana dell’Orsa, a place I’ve already told about. At this point go on for 300 meters more, and then you’ll reach the Annibale’s bridge.

Do you want to read the tale in Italian ?