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The Genoa San Giorgio Bridge, in Renzo Piano’s Words: “Un Ponte da Amare” …

The inauguration ceremony for the new bridge reminds us that it’s possible to overcome political obstacles and bureaucracy to move past tragedy efficiently

by Grace De Agazio

President Mattarella and Mayor Bucci during the ceremony

While I am writing this, many articles have already appeared, nationally and internationally, on the inauguration of the Genova San Giorgio bridge, each articulating the details of the ceremony, the main features of the bridge, the presence of many Italian governmental and political figures.

I would like to describe the ceremony by highlighting some of the inspirational words of Pritzker Architecture Prize awardee Renzo Piano, a key figure of architecture for the last five decades.

Piano said that this bridge was the most extraordinary “cantiere” (building yard) of his lifetime for many reasons: the energy and the passion of the people designing and building it with rapidity but at the same time without haste, the combination of a never-ending suffering for a tragedy and the necessity to move past it, the edification of a bridge as a sign of peace, the pride, the generosity, the solidarity among the workforce, the light and the wind playing with the bridge. And well aware that this bridge stems out of a tragedy which will be never forgotten, Piano wishes for it to be loved.

Flyover celebrating the inauguration bridge

Coincidentally enough, the date chosen for the ceremony August 3, is reminiscent of another important date for the city of Genoa and of the world. On August 3, 1492 Christopher Columbus, a native of Genoa, set sails from Palos, Spain on his first voyage to what came to be, quite unexpectedly, the New World.

Genoa is a city that has lost itself in many tragedies but has found, in its resilient and discreet character, the extraordinary energy and efficiency to rebuild by championing the extraordinary qualities of the Italian tradition: experience and expertise.

Today this ceremony was not only a milestone of infrastructure history, but has uncovered capabilities that can overcome the difficulties of political and bureaucratic entanglements that so many times have been quoted as hindering the growth of Italy. The combination of private entity enterprise and governmental partnership of this project have proven for almost the first time in Italy, that these obstacles can be overcome.

On a political plane, Genoa Mayor Marco Bucci and Ligurian Governor Giovanni Toti have also played a major role by devising the key to overcome all obstacles and problems, addressing each and all issues together and not against each other for some political capital.

The hope now, for the future of this great country which is Italy, is that the model and the system envisioned for the Genoa San Giorgio bridge can be replicated in the immediate future where and when the upgrade of infrastructure, streamline of bureaucratic procedures, timely planning and efficiency are much needed.





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