Ancient Rome

Tiber Island

Tiber Island

According to legend, a heavily-laden ship once sank in the place that  is now Tiber Island (Isola Tiberina). And in truth the 300m long island has the appearance of a gigantic ship in the current -in republican times it was even topped by a mast-like obelisk. Around 200 BC, the cult of the healing god Aesculapius and his sacred snake was practised at this site; according to another legend, his boat anchored here.

Aerial view of Tiber Island in Rome

Aerial view of Tiber Island in Rome

Tiberina Island

Snow in Rome -Tiberina Island in the morning, Italy.

Tiber Island in Rome, Italy

Tiber Island in Rome, Italy

Tiber Island: Ponte Fabricio

Thanks to the island, this was the most convenient place to build bridges across the river. In 62 BC, consul Fabricius connected the island with the right bank of the Tiber; today, it is the oldest surviving bridge in Rome. It bears his name but is also called the »Bridge of Four Heads« because of the two double Hermes heads on the parapet.

Pons Fabricius

Ponte Fabricio – the oldest bridge of Rome, the river Tiber, Italy

Ponte Fabricio and Tiber island

Ponte Fabricio and Tiber island in Rome, Italy

Tiber Island: San Bartolomeo

The church in the centre of the island was built over the ruins of the Temple of Aesculapius in the late 10th century under Holy Roman Emperor Otto III, and was restored by Martino Longhi the Younger in the Baroque period after it was flooded by the Tiber.

Notable features of the church are the beautiful Roman campanile, which represents the mast of the »ship«, and a lavishly decorated 12th-century marble fountain at the approach to the apse which shows Christ, saints Adalbert of Prague and Bartholomew, and Otto III.

Basilica of San Bartolomeo all'Isola

The Interior of the Basilica of San Bartolomeo all’Isola on Tiber Island .

Basilica of San Bartolomeo all'Isola

The Interior of the Basilica of San Bartolomeo all’Isola on Tiber Island

Ponte Cestio

The Ponte Cestio, constructed in 46 BC by Lucius Cestius and renovated by various emperors, leads across to Trastevere.

Ponte Cestio

Ponte Cestio

Ponte Rotto

»Destroyed bridge« is the name given to the downstream remains of a bridge begun in wood by the Roman censors Emilius Lepidus – hence its former name Pons Aemilius – and Fulvius Nobilior in 179 BC; it later had 142 stone arches, the first of this kind in Rome.

Ponte Rotto

The remains of the ancient Ponte Rotto, with Isola Tiberina (Tevere Island) in the background, Rome, Italy.

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