River Tiber

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Tiber River Rome

According to legend, the city of Rome was founded in 753 BC on the banks of the Tiber. The island Isola Tiberina in the centre of Rome, between Trastevere and the ancient center, was the site of an important ancient ford and was later bridged. Legend says Rome's founders, the twin brothers Romulus and Remus, were abandoned on its waters, where they were rescued by the she-wolf, Lupa.

It is the third longest river in Italy; the Po, the longest. The Tiber flows 406 kilometres (252 mi) through Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio from the Apennines at Mount Fumaiolo through Rome and into the Tyrrhenian Sea at Ostia.

The city of Rome contains numerous famous bridges which cross the Tiber. The only bridge to remain unaltered until today from the classical age is Ponte dei Quattro Capi, which connects the Isola Tiberina with the left bank. The other surviving – albeit modified – ancient Roman bridges crossing the Tiber are Ponte Cestio, Ponte Sant'Angelo and Ponte Milvio.

According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, the finest ancient bridge remaining in Rome is the Ponte Sant'Angelo, which was completed in 135 AD, and was decorated with ten statues of the angels, designed by Bernini in 1688.