The Gula bridge – Varallo

Point of interest
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Leaving Varallo and passing the junction for Cervarolo to enter the Mastallone Valley, you come to the Gula gorge surmounted by an ancient, narrow stone bridge with low walls. You may not notice it immediately, hidden behind a bend, but the spectacle that awaits you justifies a stop to observe the valley floor narrowing to form a gorge between two high rock walls framing a deep gorge of amazing beauty. The placid waters of the Mastallone stream flow slowly and darkly. Only when the sun is vertical above the abyss do they turn a brilliant green, banishing a feeling of dismay from the soul for a moment.

The bridge, which spans the gorge some 30 m above the water level below, was once the only transit route for the inhabitants of the valley to and from the settlements. Historical sources do not specify a precise date of construction of the bridge. During some restoration work in 1937, a stone engraved with the date 721 was found in the structure.

It is hard to believe that the history of this bridge cannot be steeped in legends. The best known story goes that the bridge was built by the devil in exchange for the soul of the first person to cross it. An elderly hermit not only accepted the pact with the devil but managed to outsmart him by getting a dog over the bridge first. The devil thus, feeling mocked, is said to have decided to remain in the Gula gorge in search of new victims to deceive.



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