It is the symbol of Lanzo and of its valleys, situated in the ‘Ponte del Diavolo’ natural reserve. In the past this bridge was the obligatory passage for anyone who wanted to go to Lanzo or who from there wanted to go to the lowlands.
Traditionally it is believed that the Romans built the bridge because such an important work could only be the fruit of the technical capacity of that civilization. In reality the bridge dates from 1378. To pay for the construction a tax was imposed on wine for ten years. The workers who built the bridge were local, as was the architect.
The bridge’s importance comes from the tolls that the Lanzo people imposed on all (man, animal, goods) that crossed it, as it was the only passage between the valleys and the lowland.
For this reason the population of the valleys gave the Lanzo people the nickname ‘peilacrist’ (moneygrabbers). From a technical point of view the bridge has the form of a humpback arch. The abutments (side supports) of the bridge are elevated but, overall, do not give an ostentatious appearance to the structure and have made it possible to create a more modest arch to connect the two sides of the Stura river.
The archway (in reality a doorway) on top of the bridge was added in 1654 when it was heard that there were some cases of the plague in the lowland. Two wooden doors were fixed to it, which were closed every time there was fear of contagion. Many legends are connected to this bridge. The most well known tells of a pact between the Lanzo people and the Devil, who offered to build the bridge on the condition that he would receive the first soul that crossed the bridge. The Lanzo people accepted this pact but tricked the Devil by sending a small dog to cross the bridge first. The proof of the diabolic origin is the devil’s hoofprint impressed on a rock at the entrance to the bridge.