The Ponte Sisto in Rome connects the Via Pettinari in the rione Regola with the Piazza Trilussa across the river in the Trastevere district. Particularly at night the Ponte Sisto is often extremely crowded, since it also connects the Campo de’ Fiori (one of the busiest squares at night, with many pubs and pizzerias) with Trastevere, which is Rome’s number one nightlife quarter.
Ponte Sisto Rome
History and description
The present Ponte Sisto was built between 1473 and 1479 at the site where an earlier bridge, the Pons Aurelius, had been destroyed in 772. The bridge was commissioned by Pope Sixtus (Sisto) IV.
It is characterized by the eye (Oculus) right in the middle of the bridge.
The fountain that used to decorate the crossing of Via Giulia and Via dei Pettinari and was part of the Acqua Paola Aqueduct was moved to Piazza Trilussa after Italy’s unification. The water of this aqueduct still streams through 8 pipes inside the Ponte Sisto.
It is probable that the construction of this bridge led to the popularity of the Trastevere district. After it was built, it was this part of the area across the river that became most accessible and during the Renaissance period several villas were built there. Examples are the Villa Farnesina and the villas and palaces on the Janiculum, such as the Villa Doria Pamphilj, the Villa Sciarra and the Palazzo Lante.