Rome, Bridge of Agrippa


Bridge of Agrippa: one of the bridges across the Tiber in Rome.


Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa (64/63-12 BCE) was a close friend of the emperor Augustus, who ruled Rome between 27 BCE and 14 CE. In 21 BCE, Agrippa married the daughter of Augustus, Julia. The couple settled in a splendid villa on the opposite bank of the river Tiber. (Frescoes from this house can be seen in the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme in Rome.)

To connect his villa to the Field of Mars, where Agrippa had built several important monuments, a bridge was constructed. The access road to the bridge is still in use and is now named Via dei Farnesi.

The Pons Agrippae survived the Middle Ages and connected the area of the Palazzo Farnese with the villa, which had been rebuilt and is still known as the Farnesina. One arch of a bridge that connected the Palazzo Farnese (the Arco Farnese) to the Bridge of Agrippa is still intact.

However, the ancient bridge itself did not survive, and in fact could be demolished, because pope Sixtus IV had already ordered a new bridge to be constructed. This Ponte Sisto is about 160 meters downstream from the remains of the four piers of the Bridge of Agrippa.