Take a stroll in bella roma at any time of the day or night, be charmed by ancient ruins, colorful palazzi, gardens and discover the magnificent bridges in Rome along the tiber river. Rome is divided by wide avenues of river banks connected by several bridges in the most iconic destinations of Rome. The river itself is not a romantic sight to see in Rome, but the views will capture and awe especially during sunset and sunrise. Did you know the Romans made history for their bridge constructions? The ancient Romans were the first in the whole world to build large and (almost) forever lasting bridges which were built with just stone and concrete. They have set the path for the iconic “arch” style bridges which have been constructed over the centuries, connecting cities divided by rivers all over Italy. Now that most of Italy’s most known rivers (The Tiber or Tevere and the Arno in Florence) are no longer clean or useful aside from aesthetic or the occasional rowing club, bridges serve a huge purpose for admiring the city sights over a glimmering (if not murky) river. Out of over 400 traffic, timber and aqueduct bridges in Rome combined, here is our top 5 tips for beautiful bridges in Rome you must see:
Ponte Sant’Angelo was built by Emperor Hadrian almost 2000 years ago in 134AD (okay, not quite 2000 years but close!) and it was built in order to span the Tiber and to connect it to the emperor’s mausoleum which today is known as the very famous castle Castel Sant’Angelo. The castle is famous for the ancient myth that an angel once came and hovered above it to announce to Roman citizens that the plague was over, hence Castel Sant’Angelo. Today this site of Rome is very popular for those wanting to take advantage of sunset photo opportunities but in the past (centuries ago) the bridge of Ponte Sant’Angelo was used as a sort of display case for the poor souls executed during more dark times in Roman history. This bridge still stands as sturdy since 134 with stone, marble and stretches the river with three Roman arches. From Ponte Umberto I you can enjoy a complete view of Ponte Sant’Angelo and his castle.
Ponte Sisto is a centrally located footbridge which connects the buzzing Roman nightlife hotspot of Piazza Trilussa in Trastevere with Via del Pettinari in the Rione district of Rome. The bridge is actually a replacement of the ancient Ponte Aurelius and the Sisto bridge was built by the order of Pope Sixtus VI from which the name derives. This bridge is iconic in terms of architectural artistry for the eye-like hole in the center of the arches. You can say the Ponte Sisto has an all-seeing eye of Roman nightlife. Ponte Sisto is culturally notable for its central location and has even starred in films, music videos and commercials.
Ponte Milvio is one of the most ancient and historically significant bridges in Rome due its strategic location which served the Roman Empire and was the original site for the battle of Milvian Bridge. Built in 206 BC and renovated in the middle ages, this bridge has suffered heavily blows several centuries later in 1849 by the Garibaldi troups during the attempted French invasion. Visit Ponte Milvio, for a glimpse of the surrounding countryside and witness a real piece of ancient Roman history. Today, Ponte Milvio is contemporarily popular among young couples who tack on padlocks to “lock in” their love.
Just as the latin name “Pons Fabricus” remains (or in Italian Ponte Fabricio) so does the bridge- it’s the oldest bridge in all of Rome STILL in it’s original state! No recontructions, destructions or heavy re-modeling. This is quite a sight to be seen as this Roman bridge was constructed in 62 BC. Now, THAT’S over 2000 years old! At the location is even more historical as the bridge was built to replace a previously existing wooden bridge that was destroyed by a fire. Pons Fabricus connects Campus Martius and the Tiber Island with 2 modest arches made of tuff, bricks and travertine. You must walk across the bridge that has survived the test of time to be the only original Roman bridge from ancient times. One can only imagine all the life this bridge has seen come and go.
Pons Cestius (Ponte Cestio in Italian) sits west of the Tiber Island connecting to Trastevere . It was build even before Pons Fabricus but it was dismantled in the 19th century with only a few remains of it’s ancient stone structure. This bridge is notable for having been built so many centuries ago but also for being the 1st bridge to connect a once isolated right bank of the Tiber with the left bank and the heart of Ancient Rome. The name of the bridge comes from the Cestii clan but the exact history as to who commissioned or ordered the work is still unclear. However, in the 4th century it was rebuilt by Roman emperors which some of the material used came from the demolished porticus of the neighboring Theatre of Marcellus. During an additional restructuring 15 centuries later, a 3rd arch was added because the original 2 were simply no longer sufficient. In general Pons Cestius is popular for its historical evolutions and for being one of the most ancient bridges in all of Rome that is still intact.