Ponte is the 5th rione of Rome. 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 (Rione V)
The Ponte d’Angelo used to be called the Ponte Elio (Pons Aelius) and was constructed by Emperor Hadrian, who wished to connect his mausoleum to the rest of the city. In those days this part of town was still part of the district Campo Marzio.
Except for the Ponte Sant’Angelo there are three more bridges connecting the rione Ponte to the rioni Borgo and Prati. On top of that, there is the Ponte Rotto (Broken Bridge), the ruins of which can only be seen at low tide.
The quarter has always remained populated and as a result there are only a few old Roman ruins to be seen.
Already in the first days of its existence, Ponte was an area with many tourists. Almost every road leading to the Vatican automatically ended at the Ponte Sant’Angelo so there has always a variety off hotels, inns and even souvenir shops in the area. Many Romans 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 quarter is still very visible.
The Piazza Sant’Angelo, in front of the bridge, is where condemned prisoners got executed.
The most famous streets in Ponte are the Via dei Coronari and the Via Giulia. The Palazzo Altemps hosts one of the seats of the Museo Nazionale Romano and the most famous church in Ponte is the San Giovanni dei Fiorentini.