All images © by Roberto Piperno, owner of the domain. Write to email@example.com. Text edited by Rosamie Moore.
Page revised in July 2009.
Ponte Rotto (Book 5) (Map C3) (Day 5) and (Day 6) (View C9) (Rione Ripa) and (Rione Trastevere)
Ponte Rotto means broken bridge and the plate shows the remaining three arches of an ancient Roman bridge which was poorly repaired in the XVIth century; in the background of the plate one can see a view of the Aventine, the only historical hill of Rome which is touched by the river.
The view is taken from the green dot in the small 1748 map here below. In the description below the plate Vasi made reference to: 1) S. Sabina ; 2) S. Alessio ; 3) S. Salvatore in Trastevere; 4) Fenili (haylofts); 5) Mill. 1) and 2) are shown in detail in other pages.
Only one arch of the broken bridge is left. The enlargement of the river bed in the late XIXth century led to pulling down the other two arches and some of the buildings of Trastevere which were near the bridge, including the small church of S. Salvatore. Ponte Palatino is the name of the modern bridge built behind Ponte Rotto in 1886-90.
The bridge was initially built in the IInd century BC and it was named after Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, who is best known for having promoted the construction of Via Aemilia from Rimini to Piacenza. Through the centuries the bridge required many repairs, but it was still standing in the XVIth century until in 1557 a flood brought down two arches. Discussions on how to repair the bridge went on for years and Luca Peto, a member of the commission appointed to make recommendations, suggested rebuilding the bridge with a lower number of arches in order to allow an easier flow of the water. Instead the bridge was rebuilt in 1575 upon the ancient foundations.
The bridge was embellished with heraldic symbols and coats of arms, but these did not prevent the arches towards the Aventine from collapsing on Christmas Night 1598.
Learn more about the Tiber floods.
Excerpts from Giuseppe Vasi 1761 Itinerary related to this page:
Next plate in Book 5: Spiaggia verso la Bocca della Verità
Next step in Day 5 itinerary: Chiesa ed Ospedale di S. Galla
Next step in Day 6 itinerary: S. Maria in Cappella
Next step in your tour of Rione Ripa: Ponte Quattro Capi