The Ponte Sisto was commissioned by Pope Sixtus IV (r. 1471-84) for the Holy Year of 1475, but not completed until 1479. It is generally attributed to the Florentine architect Baccio Pontelli (c. 1450-92), who reused the foundations of an ancient Roman bridge.
The Ponte Sisto was the first bridge to be built in Rome since antiquity and the last to be erected until the second half of the 19th century.
In 1866 an iron footbridge was constructed next to the church of San Giovanni dei Fiorentini. The bridge was duly called the Ponte dei Fiorentini, but as there was a toll to cross it, it came to be known as the Ponte del Soldo (Penny Bridge). The Ponte dei Fiorentini was destroyed in 1941.
Blogging about Rome:
its art, history and culture.
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 and
small-group walking tours
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