Tiber Island

 

Have you got a serious case of the no-travel blues? It happens. The months (or sometimes years) between vacations can be tough. You want to see. Do. Explore. Unfortunately, life often has other plans. Things like work, money, and responsibilities like to get in the way of those over the top travel plans. Turn things around. Start planning your own getaway. Whether you visit tomorrow, next month, or next year…planning is half the fun. There are so many places to consider. One of those places? Should definitely be Rome. This iconic city is known for the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and St. Peter’s Basilica, to name just a few examples. Something else to see during a trip to Rome? Tiber Island.

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Tiber Island is no ordinary tourist site. It is full of intrigue, history, and mystery. Where to begin? Let’s take a look at the basics. Tiber Island is connected to the mainland by two bridges. Each date back to ancient Roman times (though repairs and re-building has had to be done over the years). On the western side there is Cestius Bridge. This was built in the 1st century BC and connects Tiber Island to the Trastevere district of Rome. Then there is the Fabricius Bridge on the eastern side. This bridge is the oldest bridge in Rome. It unites Tiber Island and the Ripa district of Rome.

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This island has a very unique history. For starters, it has medical ties. It once had an ancient temple that was dedicated to the Greek god of medicine (Aesculapius). There is also a hospital situated on Tibet Island. That is not all. There is also the church of Saint Bartholomew. Otto III constructed this in the 10th century. It was sadly destroyed by a flood and re-built in 1624. Inside? There are some fantastic views. Like large granite columns and a Byzantine fresco. There is also a cannonball stuck inside one of the walls. This happened during the siege of Rome. Though there were people inside the church at the time…no one was hurt. The cannonball was left as a reminder of this event. Pretty interesting, isn’t it? That is the great thing about Tiber Island. There is plenty of unique history to discover.

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Speaking of unique history! There are many legends and mysterious stories surrounding the island. The second bridge, for instance. The story goes that the four marble heads by the mainland exit are the heads of the four architects that were hired to restore the island. They were said to be hired by Pope Sixtus V. Since they did not all agree with the Pope they were decapitated at the end of the restoration project. Or so the story goes. True? False? Who knows. But it certainly adds a bit of mystery and myth to the island.

 

There is an awful lot to see on Tiber Island. Some historical landmarks and a mix of modern-day additions. That means you can get the full-blown Rome experience with a stop off at this unexpected tourist spot.