The neighbourhood called Ponte (rione V) is located across the river from the Castel Sant’Angelo and is one of the most beautiful districts in Rome. It is characterized by its narrow alleys, intimate piazze and cosy restaurants. It gets is name from the Ponte d’Angelo, which connects it to the Borgo district across the Tiber. Thanks to Pope Sixtus V, the bridge itself is part of the rione Borgo, but the name of the district did not change.
Ponte District Rome (R.V)
History and description
The name Ponte derives from the Ponte Sant’Angelo, which connects the district to the rione Borgo on the other side of the Tiber. Pope Sixtus V later assigned the bridge to the Borgo district, but the 5th rione continued to be called Ponte.
In the original division of the city, this area of Rome belonged to the Campo Marzio district. This is not to be confused with today’s Campo Marzio (rione IV).
The Ponte d’Angelo used to be called Ponte Elio (Pons Aelius) and was constructed by Emperor Hadrian, who wished to connect his mausoleum to the rest of the city.
This bridge also makes it very easy to walk to the Vatican City.
Of the four bridges linking Ponte to the Borgo and Prati neighborhoods, and thus to the Vatican City, the Ponte Sant’Angelo is the most picturesque one.
Already in the first days of its existence, Ponte was an area with many tourists. Almost every road leading to the Vatican ended at the Ponte Sant’Angelo so there has always been a variety of hotels, inns and even souvenir shops in the area. Romans themselves also chose the area to live in, because of the availability of drinkable water.
Many rich and influential families had impressive palazzi built in the rione Ponte, which made the area all the more prestigious. Since the construction of the new bridges part of Ponte has lost some of its beauty, but once one is further away from the river the old glory of the rione is still very visible.
The Piazza Sant’Angelo, in front of the bridge, is where condemned prisoners used to be executed.
Main tourist attractions Ponte district Rome
The neighborhood has always remained populated. As a result, there are only a few ancient Roman ruins to be seen.
The streets are characterized by beautiful historical buildings. One of these is the Palazzo Altemps, one of the seats of the Museo Nazionale Romano. Unfortunately, many of these buildings cannot be visited by tourists.
The most beautiful church is the San Giovanni Battista dei Fiorentini Church.
The main street is Corso Vittorio Emanuele II. Unfortunately, when this street was widened, the (facades of) several historic buildings were destroyed. The most beautiful streets to stroll through are the Via Giulia, the Via dei Banchi Nuovi, the Via dei Banchi Vecchi and the Via dei Coronari.
Eating and sleeping in the Ponte neighborhood
There is an endless choice of restaurants and, once you are away from the main street, they are all in a beautiful setting. Through Booking.com you can find nice boutique hotels in the district. Accommodation prices in the Ponte neighbourhood are slightly on the high side, but you will be close to all the major sights in Rome.
Public transportation rione Ponte
There are no metro stations in or near the area, but from the main street Corso Vittorio Emanuele II it is easy to get everywhere by bus.