Ponte Milvio

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Ponte Milvio
(Milvian Bridge)
(Pons Milvius)
Ponte Milvio HD.jpg
Ponte Milvio over the Tiber
Coordinates 41°56′08″N 12°28′01″E / 41.9356°N 12.4669°E / 41.9356; 12.4669Coordinates: 41°56′08″N 12°28′01″E / 41.9356°N 12.4669°E / 41.9356; 12.4669
Crosses Tiber
Locale Rome, Italy
Design Arch bridge
Material Stone, brick
Total length 136 m
Width 8.75 m
Longest span 18.55 m
No. of spans 6
Construction end 115 BC (stone bridge)
18th-century engraving by Piranesi

The Milvian (or Mulvian) Bridge (Italian: Ponte Molle or Ponte Milvio, Latin: Pons Milvius or Pons Mulvius) is a bridge over the Tiber in northern Rome, Italy. It was an economically and strategically important bridge in the era of the Roman Empire and was the site of the famous Battle of the Milvian Bridge.

Early history[edit]

A bridge was built by consul Gaius Claudius Nero in 206 BC after he had defeated the Carthaginian army in the Battle of the Metaurus. In 109 BC, censor Marcus Aemilius Scaurus built a new bridge[1] of stone in the same position, demolishing the old one. In 63 BC, letters from the conspirators of the Catiline conspiracy were intercepted here, allowing Cicero to read them to the Roman Senate the next day. In AD 312, Constantine I defeated his stronger rival Maxentius between this bridge and Saxa Rubra, in the famous Battle of the Milvian Bridge.

During the Middle Ages, the bridge was renovated by a monk named Acuzio, and in 1429 Pope Martin V asked a famous architect, Francesco da Genazzano, to repair it because it was collapsing. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the bridge was modified by two architects, Giuseppe Valadier and Domenico Pigiani.

The bridge was badly damaged in 1849 by Garibaldi's troops, in an attempt to block a French invasion, and later repaired by Pope Pius IX in 1850.

Recent history[edit]

Love padlocks on the bridge
Pathway over the Milvian bridge

In 2000s, the bridge began attracting couples, who use a lamppost on the bridge to attach love padlocks as a token of love, the ritual involves the couple locking the padlock to the lamppost, then throwing the key behind them into the Tiber. The ritual was invented by author Federico Moccia for his popular book and movie "I Want You".[2]

After April 13, 2007, couples had to stop this habit because that day the lamppost, due to the weight of all padlocks, partially collapsed. However, couples decided to attach their padlocks elsewhere; in fact, all around the bridge, road posts and even garbage bins have been used to place these love padlocks. As an online replacement, a web site has been created allowing couples to use virtual padlocks;[3] in 2007, the mayor of Rome introduced a 50 euro fine on couples found attaching padlocks to the bridge.[4] Similar love padlocks traditions have appeared in Italy and the rest of Europe.

In September 2012, the city council decided to remove all padlocks by force.

See also[edit]



  • O’Connor, Colin (1993), Roman Bridges, Cambridge University Press, pp. 64f., ISBN 0-521-39326-4 

External links[edit]

Media related to Ponte Milvio at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 41°56′08″N 12°28′01″E / 41.93556°N 12.46694°E / 41.93556; 12.46694