The Bridge of Mermaids

The Bridge of Mermaids in Sempione Park has a long history. The first metal bridge in Italy, it was dedicated to the Austrian Emperor Ferdinand I and was inaugurated in 1842 by Archduke Ranieri, viceroy of Lombardy-Veneto. Built initially as a pedestrian bridge over the San Damiano canal (today's Visconti di Modrone Street), it was designed by the engineer, Francesco Tettamanzi and constructed by Rubini-Scalini-Falk in the Dongo foundry of Lake Como. The four sensual looking mermaids were admired by the Milanese and became the stuff of fantasies and urban myths. “The Ghisini Sisters” as the bridge was affectionately referred to, became a rendezvous for couples and the target of student pranks. In 1930, after the inner canal was covered over, the bridge was shortened and moved to the Park.