(in Buonalbergo territory, Benevento province)


A Roman bridge along the ancient Trajan Road, built at the beginning of the II cent. AD. It has still three almost entire arch spans, and a fourth one separated from the others entirely and badly restored by using extraneous materials. The bridge has also its passageway paved with the original stone slabs called “chianche” in the local dialect (and this explains its present name), and may be found at a distance of two km from Buonalbergo town centre, downhill towards the Miscano river. The bridge was built to span a stream which is almost dry today.
It was probably a work of Apollodorus of Damascus, architect and sculptor, an artist to whom modern critics have attributed, among other works that classical authors recognized as his, the Trajan Forum of Rome, with its most celebrate Column engraved with splendid low relieves narrating Trajan’s conquest of Dacia; but also, and this is what interests us more here, the Trajan Arch of Benevento (see R. Bianchi-Bandinelli, at the entry “Apollodorus of Damascus”, in “ Enciclopedia dell’Arte Antica, Roma, 1958). This memorial Arch in honour of Trajan was inaugurated by the emperor himself, in 114 AD, and was the gateway at the beginning of the Trajan Road, which had been built in the biennium 109-110 AD, at the bifurcation with the more ancient consular Road of Appia, both of them leading to Brundisium.
A remarkable likeness linking this bridge’s lateral fronts to those of the bridge on the Danube, at Dobreta (Romania), a work certainly by the architect most praised by Trajan, may suggest that it was Apollodorus that built both of them.
Unfortunately, this likeness is not easily detected, as the Chianche Bridge’s original lithic facing lies largely spread over the stream bed. (see Sect. n° )


© Museo virtuale delle valli del MISCANO e dell' UFITA