Ponte district (rione) definitely differs from the ones described before. Throughout the years, the district served multiple purposes, from being typical Roman outskirts to being one of the most luxurious Roman neighbourhoods.
For this reason, wandering through the streets of Ponte district is an enjoyable experience that enables you to see the layering of multiple centuries over one another
The name of the Ponte district literally translates as “bridge” from Italian. This is due to the Ponte Sant’Angelo (Pons Aelius) that connects Ponte with the Borgo district. The bridge was built under the commission of the emperor Hadrianus in 134 AD and was aimed to connect Castel Sant’Angelo with the rest of the city.
During the Ancient Rome times, the area of Ponte district belonged to Campus Martius (publically owned area of ancient Rome about 2 square kilometers in extent). What is interesting is that this bridge has never collapsed despite the major floods that led to the destruction of other historical monuments in the area. The middle ages have destroyed almost all traces of Ancient Rome in the district.
Soon, in 16th century the rione became very famous not only due to the proximity of Vatican, but also due to the fact that noble Roman family started to build their palaces in the area
As with most of the neighborhoods, Ponte district have gone through major changes after the unification of Italy in 1870. As more bridges were built to connect the city with Vatican, the narrow streets leading to the river were lost in order to make more space for the embankments to stop flooding.
Following is the list of places to visit in Ponte district:
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Ponte Sant’Angelo truly is a monumental construction that have stood strong through significant historical changes of the city of Rome. In the middle ages, the bridge held different name – Pons Neronianus (Nero’s bridge). Pilgrims from all over the world used this bridge in order to reach the Vatican.
At the end of the 19th century the bridge undergone a minor reconstruction and in 2000 for the Great Jubilee (major event in the Roman Catholic Church) the area of the bridge and the castle officially became pedestrian
Read more about Secrets of the Vatican here
Dedicated to St. John the Baptist, who is the protector of Florence, the construction of this church have started in 16th century and was finished in 18th century, thus baring the status of national church of Florence. In 1559 Michelangelo was called by the Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo di Medici, to carry out the design of the church, which eventually was not completed. Instead, the main construction of the church has been administered by Giacomo della Porta, after him by Carlo Maderno and was finished only by 1734.
Located in-between famous Piazza Navona and aforementioned Castel Sant’Angelo, this palace was built on the ruins of the fortress that used to belong to a powerful Orsini family. Since then, the building served as the residence for ambassadors and cardinals. Inside you will see a spacious reception room with the antique furniture and rich collection of paintings. The internal cortyard is accomplished in the finest Italian traditions and is a place to relax. Today, this palace is open to host weddings, business and government meetings.
While discovering the area of Ponte district, do not forget to stop for lunch or dinner in one of the local restaurants.
CiPasso restaurant opened in early 2018 and is currently the number 6 highest rated restaurants in Rome on TripAdvisor. The restaurant is conventionally located in the heart of Rome not too far from the Pantheon and Fontana di Trevi. The menu is well priced with a great balance of Italian and Mediterranean cuisine.
Bread-in is a lovely fast-food restaurant that offers visitors a wide range of sandwich choices. Each sandwich has the name of a famous movie or a song, thus making it even more interesting to decide which one to order first. Grab a sandwich and a drink and go enjoy the beauty of the Ancient city.
The Quinto artisian gelateria offers you a wide range of ice-cream flavours, including some vegetarian and vegan options. Stop by this cozy place and have taste of a real Italian gelato in the heart of Rome.
Author: Kate Zusmann
For the last 6 years I live in the Eternal City. Traveling, exploring new things, writing blogs, shooting vlogs are my main hobbies, but the thing that I like even more is to share my experience and thoughts with you! Explore Rome with Us :)
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