The Broken Bridge

Rome is filled with countless well-known landmarks and sites that draw thousands of people, places that are visible and easily found.

But Rome is also filled with hidden treasures that only reveal themselves to the wanderer, unexpected and often unknown.

These amazing sights flash into view as you turn the corner of some nondescript street, or accidentally tip your head upwards and land your eyes on some fabulous spectacle you could have so easily missed. The Ponte Rotto is one such treasure.

Just behind the temples flows the Tiber River. We crossed it via the Ponte Palatino, a bridge that pedestrians share with cars and motorini.

Crossing the Tiber River

Almost halfway across, we saw a most unusual sight — a single stone arch of a broken bridge sitting mid-river. It was, it turns out, called the Ponte Rotto (the Broken Bridge).

Ponte Rotto -- the Broken Bridge

Built in the first century BCE as the first stone bridge to traverse the river, this graceful arch is all that remains. Intrigued, we stop to study its decaying beauty.

Sporadically decorated with splashes of scrolls and dragon motifs, this lonesome curve sprouts tufts of greenery from its cracked marble blocks.

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