The Tiber river crosses Rome from north to south. Legend says that the founders of Rome, Remus and Romulus, were put in a basket that was placed on the Tiber. The river has long been the main source for Rome and of the many fountains Rome. It has also been used for bathing and fishing over the year.
Thirty bridges cross the 405km long Tiber River. Many of these bridges in Rome date back to pre-Christian times. Most of these bridges are only open to pedestrians and do not take vehicle traffic.
Here are 15 bridges in Rome you’ll want to cross.
15 Bridges in Rome
Table of Contents
- 1 15 Bridges in Rome
- 1.1 1. Pont Milvio
- 1.2 2. Ponte Fabricio
- 1.3 3. Ponte Sisto
- 1.4 4. Ponte Cestio
- 1.5 5. Ponte Sant’Angelo (St Angelo Bridge or Bridge of Angels)
- 1.6 6. Ponte Vittorio Emmanuele ii
- 1.7 7. Ponte Della Musica
- 1.8 8. Ponte Palatino
- 1.9 9. Ponte Settima Spizzichino
- 1.10 10. Ponte Flaminio
- 1.11 11. Ponte Nomentano
- 1.12 12. Ponte Umberto I
- 1.13 13. Pont Cavour
- 1.14 14. Ponte Garibaldi
- 1.15 15. Ponte Principe Amedeo Savoia Aosta
1. Pont Milvio
The Milvian Bridge was originally constructed of stone in the 2nd century by Roman Consul Gaius Claudius Nero. In the year 312 the Battle of Milvian Bridge was fought between Constantine and Maxitius. Constantine won the battle.
Pont Milvio has undergone many repairs and restorations over the years. This roman bridge was intentionally damaged by Giuseppe Garibaldi’s Army to prevent advances by the French. The damage was repaired in 1850.
This bridge in Rome has also always been known for romance. It was “famous for its nocturnal attractions” according to Tacitus. The bridge received modern repute this century when a book called “Ho Voglia Di Te” or “I Want You” was released in 2006. This story of young lovers in Rome inspired readers to attach padlocks to part of Pont Milvio and then throw the keys into the Tiber river. This served as a declaration of everlasting love.
Alas, there ended up being too much love for Ponte Milvio as the large number of padlocks started to cause concerns for the bridge’s structural integrity. In 2012 all padlocks were removed from this bridge in Rome. However, lovers continue to place locks on the bridge today. They are regularly removed.
2. Ponte Fabricio
This is Rome’s oldest intact bridge. Pont Fabricio was built in 62BC by Lucius Fabricius. This bridge in Rome has also been known to two other names. The first is Ponte Dei Quattro Capi or the Bridge of Four Heads. This is a reference to the two marble pillars of the two-faced Janus helms on the parapet.
The second name for this bridge in Rome was Pons Judaeorum or the Bridge of Jews due to its proximity to the Jewish quarter in Rome in medieval times.
Ponte Fabricio spans half of the Tiber river and connects Tiber island to the Campus Martius in the city. It is over 60 metres long and 5 1/2 metres wide. This Roman bridge has two arches, each of which span 24 1/2 metres. These rest on a central pillar. Above the pillar is a smaller 6 metre arch to ease water pressure when the Tiber floods.
The bridge is paved and not open to vehicles. Ponte Fabricio has been in constant use when it comes to foot traffic since 62BC which is quite extraordinary.
3. Ponte Sisto
Comissioned by Pope Sixtus IV, this Roman bridge was constructed between 1473 and 1479. Architect Baccio Pontelli created Ponte Sisto using the foundations of the Pons Aurelius which had been destroyed in the Middle Ages. This bridge in Rome was named after its commissioner, Pope Sixtus.
Ponte Sisto connects the Campo de Fioro area in Rome and Via Giulia with Piazza Trilussa in Trastevere.
4. Ponte Cestio
Ponte Cestio or Pons Cestio is a stone bridge that crosses from Tiber Island to Trastavere in Rome. This roman bridge was built between 62 and 27 BC and is the second oldest bridge in Rome. Ponte Cestio was rebuilt in the 4th century and between 1888 and 1892. The bridge is 54 metres long and 8 metres wide.
Ponte Cestio has had a number of names over the years including Pons Aurelius, Pons Gratiani, ponte di San Bartolomeo and ponte Ferrato. Today this bridge in Rome is about one-third made from its original stones and the balance stones from its 19th-century restoration.
5. Ponte Sant’Angelo (St Angelo Bridge or Bridge of Angels)
Ponte Sant’Angelo was originally built in 134 AD by Emperor Hadrian to connect the centre of Rome with his newly built mausoleum (Castel Sant’Angelo). The bridge was then known as the “Aelian Bridge” which meant Bridge of Hadrian. The bridge was also used by pilgrims on their way to St Peter’s Basilica.
The name Sant’Angelo began to be used in the 7th century. Legend has it that archangel Michael was seen at the top of the castle with his sword drawn to indicate the end of the plague in 590 AD. The statue of Michael is on the bridge today. In the 16th century Ponte Sant’Angelo was used to display the bodies of the executed as a warning.
The ten angels that appear on the bridge today were commissioned in 1669 by Pope Clement IX. They were made by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Bernini actually only finished two of the angel statues which were actually kept by Pope Clement IX but can be seen today in church of Sant’Andrea delle Fratte.
However, Bernini’s intent was kept in mind by those who later worked on the Ponte Sant’Angelo. Each of the angels represent a part of Jesus’ crucifixion. Statues of Peter and Paul watch over the entrance to the bridge.
6. Ponte Vittorio Emmanuele ii
Finished in 1911, this Roman bridge was named after Victor Emmanuelle II. Emmanuelle established the kingdom of Italy in 1861. The bridge was designed in 1886 by architect Ennio de Rossi. As you can see there were significant delays to Ponte Vittorio Emmanuele ii’s construction.
This bridge in Rome connects the historic centre of Rome with the rione Borgo and Vatican City. The bride is 108 metres long and has three arches. Each end is decorated with socles carrying bronze winged victories.
7. Ponte Della Musica
A competition for the design of a new pedestrian bridge to cross the Tiber river was announced in 2000. This was the first dedicated and large scale pedestrian bridge to be built in the city since Roman times.
This modern bridge was the result of close collaboration between engineers and architects who used locally sourced materials that were typical of Rome. The innovative design uses the springing points of the arch to provide stairs for public access. This shallow arch bridge is used by pedestrians and cyclists.
Ponte Della Musica is 190 metres long and with a main span of 128 metres and two side spans of 30 metres. This roman bridge opened in 2011. The bridge connects the Olympic Stadium on the west bank of the Monte Mario with Quartiere Flaminio for the first time in 1,000 years.
8. Ponte Palatino
Ponte Palatino, also known as Ponte Inglese (English Bridge) was designed by Angelo Vescovali and built between 1886 and 1890. It took the place of Ponte Rotto (Broken Bridge) or Pons Aemilius which was 2,200 years old. Today one arch of Pons Aemilius is still standing and it is adjacent to Ponte Palatino.
This bridge links the Forum Boarium to Piazza Castellani. The bridge takes its name from the Palatine Hill. The nickname of the English Bridge comes from the fact that left hand traffic flow applies on this bridge as is the case in the United Kingdom.
9. Ponte Settima Spizzichino
This white steel bridge was opened in June 2012. This Roman bridge is dedicated to Settima Spizzichino. She was one of the only survivors of the Roman holocaust and the raids of 1943. This memorial bridge links Via Ostiense to Garbatella, the neighborhood where Settima lived until her death in 2000.
The bridge was created by engineer Francesco del Tosto and is referred to by locals as “Cobra”. The bridge is 160 metres long and 126 metres at its widest point. The bridge has two carriageways with three lanes in each direction. Ponte Settima Spizzichino has road, pedestrian and public transport traffic.
10. Ponte Flaminio
The construction of Ponte Flaminio was announced in the 1930s. The project was led by Armando Brasini. Brasini presented his designs to Mussolini who made quite a few changes. Works began in 1938 but were interrupted by the Second World War. Works resumed in 1947 and the bridge was completed in 1951. The bridge took its name from the historic route of Via Flaminio.
Ponte Flaminio is over 250 metres long and 27 metres wide with five arches. It is made of concrete covered by white Roman travertine. The bridge has two large sidewalks that are flanked by bearing eagles and street lamps. Its profile is quite similar to that of nearby Milvian Bridge.
11. Ponte Nomentano
This lovely bridge in Rome has been quite untouched since the Middle Ages. It is 60 metres long and stretches over the Aniene River, a tributary to the Tiber River. The bridge’s central arch is dated back to the end of the Roman Republic. The two smaller arches are believed to have been constructed in the 17th century.
The central arch of Ponte Normentano has an image of a club and a bovine head. Based on this, it is believed that the bridge may have been an ancient passage for cattle. Legend has it that Charlemagne and Leo III met on this bridge in Rome.
12. Ponte Umberto I
This roman bridge links the Palace of Justice to the area around Piazza Navonna. Ponte Umberto was built between 1885 and 1895 and was designed by architect Angelo Vescovali. The bride was dedicated to and named for Umberto I, the King of Italy. It is composed of three arches, made from stone and covered with travertine. The bridge is 105 metres long.
13. Pont Cavour
Pont Cavour connects Piazza Cavour to the area around Campo Marzio. Since World War 2, it has become a tradition to dive into the Tiber from the parapet of the bridge on the 1st of January.
Construction of the bridge started in 1896 and was completed in 1901. It was designed by architect Angelo Vescovali and was dedicated to Count Camillo Benso di Cavour, one of the patriots of the Unification of Italy. The bridge is 110 metres long and 20 metres wide. It is built mostly of travertine marble.
14. Ponte Garibaldi
Ponte Garibaldi was also designed by Angelo Vescovali. This Roman bridge was built between 1884 and 1888 and was dedicated to Giuseppe Garibaldi, a hero of Two World Wars and another one of the patriots of the Unification of Italy. The bridge has two metal spans and is 120 metres long.
15. Ponte Principe Amedeo Savoia Aosta
This bridge in Rome is also known as Ponte Principe or Ponte PASA. Ponte Principe was completed in 1942. It has three brick arcades that are covered with travertine marble. Between each brick arcade are two single lancet windows with rounded arches. The bridge is dedicated to Prince Amadeo of Savoy-Aosta, Viceroy of Ethiopia.
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