Rome Travel Guide

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Archeological finds hidden in plain sight: Ponte di Nona

In back, Rome's 9th mile bridge
If you drive out of the center of Rome 9 Roman miles on via Prenestina, one of the consular roads, you will encounter an amazingly intact piece of Roman architecture - the 9th mile bridge (Ponte di Nona).  The 7 arches of the bridge make it more of a viaduct, according to some historians of Roman history.  What amazed us, though, was simply that it's still there, doing its job.  The most we could find on it was that it was built in Rome's Republican period (the last 5 centuries BC).  It is, of course, one of many, many bridges the Romans built over waterways, including over the Danube.  It stands out as one of the few so well preserved.  Nine Roman miles is about 8 miles, or 13 kilometers.
a good view of the 7 arches

The space under the bridge now is used mainly by an outdoor store
Romans seem to associate "Ponte di Nona" almost exclusively with unrestrained suburban growth, since it now is the name of a quarter of Rome, and home to one of the largest ex-urban shopping centers, Roma Est.  Of course, being RST, we find all of this interesting, especially in its mash-up: Roman ruins, Roman bridge still in use, outdoor store, blighted new suburbs.
not so attractive suburban growth in Ponte di Nona


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