Men and rivers have always had a very close relationship. Civilizations flourish on river courses, as well as the cities and businesses that feed their populations.
One of the most representative examples of this connection is that between Rome and its river: the Tiber.
According to legend, the history of Rome begins right here. The basket on which Romulus and Remus had been laid entangles on its banks. The river embraces them and protects them until the arrival of the she-wolf, animal symbol of Rome, which breastfeeds them and saves them from death. In 753 AC, Romulus founds Rome.
It is thanks to the Tiber that the city has evolved from a small rustic camp to a powerful city in the imperial age, and to a magnificent metropolis luring millions of tourists. Its monuments reflecting in the water are outstanding.
The Tiber also flows a stone's throw from many symbolic places of the city such as Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, the Vatican, Sant'Angelo Castel, the Foro Boario, Piazza del Popolo, the Circus Maximus, the Colosseum, and the Via dei Fori Imperiali. It runs alongside Trastevere and Testaccio districts, the ideal neighborhoods to stroll through the alleys of old Rome, or to spend a pleasant evening of good food and music. It extends to Ostia Antica and Ostia Lido, where it flows into the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Its Tiberine Island, the only urban island of the river, is home to one of the oldest hospitals in the Capital, the Fatebenefratelli, commissioned in 1585 by Pope Gregory XIII. It introduced revolutionary healthcare innovations such as the division of the sicks into specific departments. Tiberine Island is about 300 meters long and about 90 wide. From the 1st century BC, it has the shape of a ship and is connected to the mainland by the Cestio bridge, dating back to 46 BC., and the Fabricio bridge, built in 62 BC.
Even its bridges, in fact, are one of the attractions of the city; some date back to Roman times and are still accessible after thousands of years.
In addition to Ponte Cestio and Ponte Fabricio, we also recommend Ponte Sant'Angelo, the ancient Ponte Elio, built in 134 by the emperor Hadrian. It was later adorned by Bernini's angels that seem to open the way to the imposing Castel Sant'Angelo. It is also a privileged point from which to observe St. Peter's Basilica. Also known as Ponte Mollo, Ponte Milvio was built in the Ist century BC, and today is a favorite evening meeting place for Roman youth.
The waters of the Tiber go past the city placidly, harnessed by the high walls built at the end of the 19th century. Many sections of its course are navigable and offer unrepeatable glimpses and unusual visit itineraries: history, nature, and romance merge along its shores of rare beauty.
Boat trips are an opportunity to visit the city from a different and original point of view. Starting from Ponte Sant'Angelo or Ponte Marconi, you can enjoy an unprecedented view of St. Peter's Basilica. You can otherwise reach the excavations of Ostia Antica, the Port of Trajan, and the mouth of the Tiber in Fiumicino, to appreciate the flora and fauna diversity and unparalleled archaeological heritage.
In the summer, the Tiber comes alive with the Estate Romana, the event organized by Roma Capitale, that offers citizens and tourists unforgettable cinema, music, food, and drinks for all tastes evenings, as well as the opportunity to shop at one of the many stands set up for the occasion.
Finally, the Lungotevere are a long cycle path that allows you to cross the city entirely below street level, without traffic and intersections. From here, you can easily reach the Foro Italico and the city parks. In Villa Pamphili, Villa Ada, Villa Borghese, and around the Baths of Caracalla, you can exercise, or simply allow yourself a few hours of complete relaxation away from the chaos of the center.