Ponte Sant'Angelo

Vaticano, Prati

Ponte Sant'Angelo
  • Location: Ponte Sant'Angelo
  • Address: Ponte Sant'Angelo
  • Visit lasts: 1 hour (about)
  • Services:
    Free entranceLong queuesRecommended
This is the ancient Aelius Bridge built under Hadrian to connect his mausoleum with the left bank of the Tiber. In 1669, it became one of the masterpieces of the baroque after the work done on it by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.  It was Clement IX who commissioned the series Angels with the Instruments of the Passion to the master who furnished the sketches but actually only made two angels while entrusting the rest of the work to his students. The two statues of Saints Peter and Paul which grant access to the bridge are the work of Pietro Taccone for Clement VII (1534).
THINGS TO KNOW: At the bridge, until the creation of the Lungotevere at the end of the 1800s, stood the Piazza di Ponte, which in the middle of the Sixteenth Century was designated for executions. Here, among others, Beatrice Cenci was executed in 1599. The youth was condemned to death for killing, with the help of her step-mother and brothers, her violent father Francesco, who had abused her. The trial was one of the biggest of the time, rife with injustices, including the exclusion of a final plea from the defence and saw an immense amount of popular interest.