Following in the footsteps of Renzo Rosso of Diesel (who donated the funds to restore the Rialto Bridge), Luxottica has committed 1.5€ million to the refurbishment of the Accademia Bridge (Ponte dell’Accademia), the only wooden bridge crossing the Grand Canal just a short distance from San Marco Square.
The bridge was constructed in 1854 with a steel structure which was replaced in 1933 by a wooden bridge. It deteriorated and the bridge we all see today was built as an identical construction in 1985. It’s steel plates and wood are vulnerable to the salty air of the lagoon. It is also a casualty of the romantic story of “Love Locks” attached to the metal rails and cause damage because of the weight and the corrosion.
Luxottica is the world’s largest manufacturer of eyewear, controlling about 80% of the worlds major eyewear brands, such as: Burberry, Bvlgari, Chanel, Coach, Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Michael Kors, Oakley, Prada, Tiffany, Ray-Ban and Ralph Lauren and more! It began in the small town of Agordo in the Veneto about 60 miles from Venice and has not forgotten its roots.
It serves a very useful purpose linking the Sestiere of San Marco to the quiet neighborhood of Dorsoduro with only 4 bridges crossing the canal, this is an essential route. It is also a great place for tourist to make pictures of Santa Maria della Salute which you can see in our picture below.
In recent years, the traffic of approximately 8 million people each year over the bridge have taken their toll, as well as the infamous “Love Locks” whose numbers increase magically on the bridge as the Venice authorities attempt to remove them. Read our Blog on Love Locks.
In Italy, this generosity of its large home-grown companies has included, Tod’s ~25€ million to clean/restore the Colosseum, with the jeweler Bulgari donating for similar work on the Spanish Steps (Rome) and the Trevi Fountain (Rome) restoration by the fashion house Fendi. But it is not limited to Italian companies, Yuzo Yagi a Japanese tycoon gave ~1€ million to restore a marble pyramid dating to the 12 century.
We applaud this generosity and hope other companies will join in this, saving beautiful places and spaces for future generations.