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Nomentano Bridge: a medieval bridge Tower

Nomentano Bridge: a medieval bridge Tower
About Rome

01-04-2022

Photo Credits: lucaleica, Ponte Nomentano, Rome, Italy. Pic 01, CC BY 2.0

 

Are you based in Rome or just here for a short stay?

Have you ever seen the Nomentano Bridge?

You think you haven't, but the truth is that it is represented in many photos and you cannot fail to have seen it at least once in your life.

It has always captivated travelers coming from the north-east and on their way to Rome.

The history of Nomentano Bridge

According to legend, it was here that Charlemagne and Pope Leo III met in 800.

If you're curious about the history, every year a historical commemoration is held on the bridge, where the pope hands over the keys of the city and a banner to Charlemagne, two symbols of Rome's confidence.

This meeting is a prelude to the Christmas night of the same year where Charlemagne was crowned emperor in St Peter's.

But to get down to brass tacks, the bridge was erected at the point where the Via Nomentana crossed the Aniene river at the foot of the Monte Sacro hill.

Together with the Milvian and the Salarian bridges, it was one of the most important suburban bridges and it was built in the Republican age with squared blocks of tufa, except for the travertine archivolts. It had three arches, of which the central one, larger than the other two, overlooked the tributary of the Tiber, the Aniene.

In the 8th century, under the pontificate of Hadrian I, the bridge was fortified with two towers, which were in turn reinforced with walls and further raised under Pope Nicholas V. The bridge was destroyed and then rebuilt after the barbarian invasion of Totila.

The Nomentano Bridge Nowadays

Nowadays the bridge has a large travertine arch, surmounted by a medieval crenelated fortification, and two lateral ramp arches on each side. Originally, the bridge crossed the Aniene river with a double arch, of which only the one on the Monte Sacro side remains.

What are you waiting for to check out Ponte Nomentano? Join one of our Private Rome Tours!

Take a photo of this magical bridge and share it on your social networks.

In the past, a fee was charged to cross the bridge, but today it is completely free, so you have no excuse not to go there. 

 

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