PONS CAESTIUS (previously named Pons Gratianus, Bridge of St. Bartolomeo, Ferrato [iron shod] Bridge), between the island and Trastevere.
Its construction, dating back to 46 b.C., is ascribed to Lucio Cestio, one of the magistrates to which Cesar entrusted the administration of the town during his campaign of Spain.
The old bridge was almost 50 m long and had one central lower curve arch and two smaller ones about 6 m long.
It was restructured by Aurelio Avianio Simmaco, Praefectus Urbi, being emperors Valentiniano, Valente and Graziano; the bridge was dedicated to the last one during the spring of 370 AD and therefore named "pons Gratianus".
In the 1191-93 the bridge, by then "fere dirutum" (nearly destroyed), as indicated on the inscription still located on the bridge parapet, was restored again by Benedict Carushomo (Carissimi), sole senator of the town.
On late 1400 it was named "of St. Bartolomeo" (from the same name church on the island) and in the 1700-1800 "iron shod bridge".
According to the Canevari project, that stated a width 70 m for this branch of the Tiber near the island, the bridge was disassembled on 1888 and rebuilt in three equal arches, employing the original materials as much as possible; it was completed on 1892. During such remake it was discovered that in the IV century Simmaco used for the restoration some travertine blocks taken from the inferior order (Doric) of the Marcello theatre and some historical tablet of the Trajan age.
After the 1900 flood, the two large lateral arches were "bridled" (1901) in order to restore the previous water flow.
The present restoration has been carried out within the works foreseen in Rome for the 2000 Jubilee. Page top