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June 4, 2023

An Italian Art Historian Has Claimed to Have Identified the Bridge in the Background of the Mona Lisa

Italian art historian Silvano Vinceti has claimed to have identified the bridge in the background of the Mona Lisa, the iconic painting by Leonardo da Vinci. Vinceti says the bridge in question is the Romito di Laterina bridge in the province of Arezzo, based on historical documents, drone images, and photographs of the area, which show the same number of arches in both the painting and the Romito.

The bridge depicted in the backdrop of the Mona Lisa has been a subject of debate for many years.

Previous theories about the background of the 16th-century oil painting have identified the bridge as the Ponte Bobbio, in the northern city of Piacenza, as well as the Ponte Buriano, which is also in the Tuscan province of Arezzo. However, both of these bridges have six arches, compared to the Romito’s four.

“It is the Romito Etruscan-Roman bridge, also known as Ponte di Valle, located in the municipality of Laterina in the province of Arezzo,” explained Vinceti. “Only one arch remains of the bridge today, but in the period between 1501 and 1503 the bridge was functioning and it was very busy, as shown by a document on the state of assets on Medici family properties, found in the State archives of Florence.”

All that remains of the Romito bridge today is a single arch, after it was badly damaged, probably by flooding, in the 18th century.

It was precisely at that time that Leonardo was in the Val d’Arno area, first at the service of Cesare Borgia, known as the Valentino, and then for the gonfalonier of the Republic of Florence, Pier Soderini.

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