Castelsaraceno Footbridge

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Castelsaraceno Footbridge
Ponte Tibetano Castelsaraceno
Castelsaraceno, Basilicata, Italy
(164) feet high / (50) meters high
1,903 foot span / 580 meter span
2020

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Many may be surprised to learn that in 2020 the Castelsaraceno Footbridge became the longest bridge span ever built in Italy as well as maybe taking the title of World's Longest Footbridge. Unlike more conventional pedestrian bridges that have a solid deck, Castelsaraceno is a Tibet-style span with a light deck composed of open gaps alternating with steel slats. The more open nature of the span requires guests to wear equipment that connects to an overhead wire for a safer journey.

Prior to the decision to cross the valley in one span, a more conventional "Via Ferrata" hiking path of several smaller spans was planned. Zig-zagging through the valley, one scheme had three crossings of 170+170+160 meters.

The narrow, 580 meter long deck also limits the number of people who can be on the bridge at one time. Also unusual to the Castelsaraceno footbridge are more then a dozen ground anchored wind cables spaced at intervals along the entire length of the span that keep the bridge from swaying in the wind or from pedestrian induced oscillations. The sagging, Tibet-style walkway reaches a height of around 50 meters above the creek bed with the anchorages approximately 80 meters above the creek bed elevation.

All of these restrictions will make some argue that Castelsaraceno is not worthy of having the "world's longest footbridge" title since the main span is not free and clear. This debate over the "rules" of what constitutes a world record footbridge span may never have everyone in agreement but there is no argument over how exciting a walk across this span is with amazing views of the Nocito creek and surrounding mountains. Also not to be missed is the charming mountain town of Castelsaraceno, seemingly lost in an earlier time when the pace of life was slower and simpler.


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The original design called for multiple spans supported by hillside suspension cables.


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The newer design has a full span with only two anchorages and no suspension cables, only wind stabilizing cables.


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The original design called for multiple spans supported by hillside suspension cables.


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An early design had 3 footbridge spans zig-zagging across the valley.


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Castelsaraceno Footbridge satellite image.


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Castelsaraceno Footbridge location map.


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