Ponte Rotto: Rome's Broken Bridge
A single arch is all that remains of what was once the Pons Aemilius, the first bridge in Rome to be built completely out of stone.
The Pons Aemilius dates back to 179 BCE, but, over the course of time, it was rebuilt several times. In 1598 a catastrophic flood destroyed half of the bridge. This time it was not rebuilt, but abandoned for two hundred and fifty years. It came to be called the Ponte Rotto (Broken Bridge).
In 1853 Pope Pius IX had what was left of the bridge connected to the other bank of the river by an iron footbridge.
In 1887 most of the Ponte Rotto was destroyed in order to make way for the Ponte Palatino (also known as the Ponte Inglese), the work of the architect Angelo Vescovali.
All that survives of the Ponte Rotto is a single arch, stranded in the middle of the river Tiber.
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My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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