Ponte Sisto is a bridge in Rome's historic centre, spanning the river Tiber. It connects Via dei Pettinari in the Rione of Regola to Piazza Trilussa in Trastevere. The construction of the current bridge occurred between 1473 and 1479, and was commissioned by Pope Sixtus IV (r. 1471-84), after whom it is named, from the architect Baccio Pontelli, who reused the foundations of a prior Roman bridge, the Pons Aurelius, which had been destroyed during the early Middle Ages. Currently traffic on the bridge is restricted to pedestrians. (According to Mandell Creighton's History of the Papacy, the Sistine Bridge was built of blocks from the Coliseum. Further, that Sixtus was mindful of the disaster which had occurred in the Jubilee of 1450 through the crowding of the Bridge of S. Angelo, which was the only available means of communication with S. Peter's.)
The predecessor bridge to Ponte Sisto, the Pons Aurelius, was first mentioned by authors in the 4th and 5th centuries and was later known in the Middle Ages as "Pons Antoninus," "Pons Antonini in Arenula," and "Pons Ianicularis id est pons ruptus vulgariter nominatus et Tremelus et Antoninus."
The Pons Antoninus was partially destroyed in 772, at the time the Lombard king Desiderius took Rome, and rebuilt in its current form by Pope Sixtus IV, whose name it carries to this day.
The bridge is architecturally characteristic because of the circular "oculus" or eye lightening the masonry of its central spandrel: this was erected to diminish the river's pressure on the bridge in case of flood.
On the left bridge head are placed the copies of two marble slabs (removed in the 1990s after continued vandalism) bearing an elegant Latin inscription composed by Renaissance humanist Bartolomeo Platina in honour of Sixtus IV in occasion of the construction of the bridge. They recite:
On the corner of via dei Pettinari and via Giulia once stood a fountain (the Fontanone di Ponte Sisto or dei Cento Preti), which relayed water from the great fountain called the Acqua Paola, derived originally from a Roman aqueduct brought back to working order by Pope Paul V (r. 1605-21): the water was brought from Lake Bracciano to Trastevere and from there over the Ponte Sisto to the Campo Marzio. The bridge still carries the water of the Acqua Paola across the river in eight large pipes.
On 20 August 1662, a brawl erupting between some Corsican soldiers controlling the bridge and Frenchmen belonging to the retinue of the French ambassador triggered the Corsican Guard Affair and had as effect the disbanding of the Corsican Guard, a corp of mercenaries originating from the island having police duties in Rome.
After the Unification of Italy in 1870, the buildings surrounding the mostra dell'acqua paola were destroyed for the erection of the Lungotevere along the river side, and the fountain itself was relocated to Piazza Trilussa on the other side of the bridge, where it delivers water to this day.
In 1877, two large cast-iron pedestrian gangways resting on marble consoles were added to the sides of the bridge. After considerable controversies, Rome`s mayor Francesco Rutelli let them be demolished in 2000, restoring Ponte Sisto`s pristine silhouette, and since then traffic on the bridge has been restricted to pedestrians.
The Ponte Sisto connects the lively and popular Campo de' Fiori area (reached through via dei Pettinari) and via Giulia with Piazza Trilussa in Trastevere across the river, where many young Romans and tourists gather for an aperitivo on a Friday night.
Trastevere is the 13th rione of Rome: it is identified by the initials R. XIII and it is located within the Municipio I. Its name comes from the Latin trans Tiberim, meaning literally "beyond the Tiber".
Domenico Fontana was an Italian architect of the late Renaissance, born in today's Ticino. He worked primarily in Italy, at Rome and Naples.
Ponte is the 5th rione of Rome, identified by the initials R. V, and is located in Municipio I. Its name comes from Ponte Sant'Angelo, which connects Ponte with the rione of Borgo. This bridge was built by Emperor Hadrian in 134 AD to connect his mausoleum to the rest of the city. Though Pope Sixtus V changed the rione limits, so that the bridge belongs now to Borgo, not to Ponte anymore, the area has kept its name.
Parione is the 6th rione of Rome, identified by the initials R. VI, and belongs to the Municipio I. Its name comes from the fact that in the area there was a huge ancient wall, maybe belonging to the stadium of Domitianus; the nickname people gave to this wall was Parietone, from which the name "Parione".
Regola is the 7th rione of Rome, Italy, identified by the initials R. VII, and belongs to the Municipio I. The name comes from Arenula, which was the name of the soft sand that the river Tiber left after the floods, and that built strands on the left bank.
Sant'Angelo is the 11th rione of Rome, Italy, located in Municipio I. Often written as rione XI - Sant'Angelo, it has a coat of arms with an angel on a red background, holding a palm branch in its left hand. In another version, the angel holds a sword in its right hand and a scale in its left.
Borgo is the 14th rione of Rome, Italy. It is identified by the initials R. XIV and is included within Municipio I.
Campo Marzio is the 4th rione of Rome, identified by the initials R. IV. It belongs to the Municipio I and covers a smaller section of the area of the ancient Campus Martius. The logo of this rione is a silver crescent on a blue background.
Via Giulia is a street in Rome, Italy, that is of historical and architectural importance.
The fountain in the Piazza Colonna is a fountain in Rome, Italy, designed by the architect Giacomo Della Porta and constructed by the Fiesole sculptor Rocco Rossi between 1575 and 1577.
The Corsican Guard was a military unit of the Papal States composed exclusively of Corsican mercenaries on duty in Rome, having the functions of an urban militia and guard for the Pope.
Ponte Sublicio, also known as Ponte Aventino or Ponte Marmoreo, is a bridge linking Piazza dell'Emporio to Piazza di Porta Portese in Rome (Italy), in the Rioni Ripa, Trastevere and Testaccio and in the Quartiere Portuense.
During the Middle Ages, Rome was divided into a number of administrative regions, usually numbering between twelve and fourteen, which changed over time.
The Pons Agrippae was an ancient bridge across the River Tiber in Rome. It was located 160 metres above the Ponte Sisto, and is known from an inscribed cippus set up by the curatores riparum during the Principate of the Emperor Claudius, suggesting it was built during or before the reign of Claudius. It was restored in 147 AD. The bridge is named after Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, a close friend of the Emperor Augustus. Agrippa married Julia, the daughter of Augustus, and the couple lived in a villa on the opposite bank of the River Tiber. To connect his villa to the Field of Mars, where Agrippa had built several important monuments, it has been suggested that Agrippa constructed the Pons Agrippae.
The Fountain of the Tritons is a fountain in Rome (Italy), Piazza Bocca della Verità, in front of the basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. This fountain should be distinguished from the similarly named nearby Triton Fountain by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, in the Piazza Barberini, with only a single Triton.
Via dei Coronari is a street in the historic center of Rome. The road, flanked by buildings mostly erected in the 15th and the 16th century, belongs entirely to the rione Ponte and is one of the most picturesque roads of the old city, having maintained the character of an Italian Renaissance street.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Rome:
The Fontana or Fontanone di Ponte Sisto, once known as the Fontanone dei Cento Preti, is an early 17th-century, monumental fountain now located in Piazza Trilussa, facing the south end of the Ponte Sisto, in Trastevere, Rome, Italy. It was reconstructed here in the late 19th century, originally erected across the river, attached to the former building of the Collegio Ecclesiastico.
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