The Romanesque bridge of Saint Martinprospettiva del ponte

This work has as object the study of the bridge of Saint Martino, a bridge placed in Clavi, in the immediate hinterland of Porto Maurizio ( Imperia ).

Specific studies on the bridge of Saint Martino never be done. The preceding studies furnished an essential idea of the bridge. Among this, in particular the recent article of Flavia Varaldo Grottin clarifies what were the used runs for the pilgrims that from the Tanaro valley were went in 'terrasanta'. It hypothesizes that the bridge of Saint Martino reentered in the itinerary. The adopted study method of the Grottin is the same of this article, for which any ideas concerning in particular the practicability have been here resumptioned.

The run: application of the methods of the archaeology of the great away of communication.

In connection with the study of the way of which the bridge of Saint Martino did part there are only hypothesis that can't be denied or verified. The medieval documents of the local files have gone lost, the only documents consulted and that are into the state file of Imperia empire are inventories or books of the accounting of the commune of Torrazza of the centuries XVII and XVIII, that however not furnished useful newses.

The historians think that is a part of a parallel local way to the Julia Augusta road already in use in Roman epoch and recovered in the Middle Ageses; the first that advanced this hypothesis was Giordano, Lamboglia just mentioned it, while recently Martino recovered it in toto.

In effect a parallel way to the coast in the immediate hinterland permitted to cross the streams in narrow points and facilitating the construction of the bridges; besides it may notice that even to the west than to the east of Clavi are some countries, Taggia, Castelvecchio, Diano Castello, Cervo, whose existence is attested already in the Middle Ageses and that is permissible think they were connected. The medieval manufactured articles are few, for which the reconstruction of the way results particularly difficulty.

There is also a street of penetration in the hinterland, a 'marenca' street that from Porto Maurizio went to the mountain passes to come in Piemonte. Such way was reconstructed by Flavia Varaldo Grottin in the conference on the presence of the riders of Malta in the west: she took in consideration not only the buildings used for the refuge of the pilgrims but even those of service to the merchants. Pilgrims and merchants used the same way.

The parallel way to the coast.percorso parallelo alla costa

Even if this way is, as remembered previously, that hypothesized by the historians, it is particularly difficulty reconstruct it with the methods of the archaeology of the great way of communication because the medieval roads are few, the bridge of Taggia and the long bridge of Albenga, both coeval to the bridge of Saint Martino. The other two, the bridge of Barcheto and the bridge of Andora, dated to the Middle Ageses from Lamboglia and Mingherlino, give doubts about their datation.

The perpendicular way to the coast.percorso perpendicolare alla costa

A greater number of manufactures of medieval origin are present between the Tanaro valley and Imperia.

From the Tanaro valley we have the downfalls of the church of Saint Raphael of the riders of Saint John in Nava, the country of Pieve di Teco, then the bridge of Dolcedo in the Prino valley, a few far from the bridge of Clavi, on the coast the church of St John Baptist, connected  to a hospice in Porto Maurizio always of the riders of Saint John and finally the port of Porto Maurizio, connecting link among the earthlings and maritime ways.

Feature from the article following the thesis of the Arch. Airenti Erminia

Foto 1 Foto 2 Foto 4 Foto 2
overall picture sight from the bridge bridge and church the pedestrian

Committee for the restoration of the bridge of Saint Martino in Clavi of Imperia

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