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Old Bridge on the Naviglio


The first documentary evidence of the existence of a bridge at Castelletto dates back to 1544. It was situated at “porto di Cuggiono”, was made of wood, and that year was rebuilt and expanded by the landowners of the Ticino calley (including the Dominican friars who owned a mill in the vicinity powered by the water from the Naviglio) to allow carts to cross more easily. The bridge was public, but those who had not contributed to the reconstruction costs had to pay a toll at each crossing. In 1574 the community of Cuggiono decided to replace it with a stone construction designed by Antonio Lonati, but not having the necessary funds to do so, was given permission by the King of Spain Filippo II, Duke of Milan, to sell common lands to the value of 1,200 lire. In 1606 Alessandro Bisnati produced a design for raising it because its being too low and barely above water level was an obstacle to water traffic. This is the bridge we have today, which was restored in 1735 as can be seen from the inscription dated 15th September of the same year and barely touched in the following centuries. Fortunately the bridge escaped the demolition planned by the Germans in the final months of the Second World War. An old public washhouse situated nearby also appeared in the film The Tree of Wooden Clogs.