This marble pedestrian bridge spanning the Tiber river between Castel Sant'Angelo and the historic center of Rome is lined with 10 monumental angel statues based on designs by Bernini. The most beautiful bridge in the city, Ponte Sant’Angelo dates from AD 134 and provides an unforgettable approach to St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City.
Ponte Sant'Angelo, or the Sant'Angelo Bridge, was built by Roman emperor Hadrian to access his mausoleum and was originally named Pons Aelius, or the Bridge of Hadrian. Legend holds that the archangel Michael appeared on top of the mausoleum in 590, ending an outbreak of the plague; to mark that miracle, Hadrian's tomb and adjacent bridge were renamed Sant'Angelo.
This ancient Roman bridge is one of the most popular spots in Rome for its scenic views, and a must-see during any walking, bike, or Vespa scooter tour of the Eternal City. Especially beautiful at night, Ponte Sant'Angelo is an unforgettably romantic stop during a Rome-by-night private excursion.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Ponte Sant'Angelo links the pedestrian-only Lungotevere Castello river walk on the Castello Sant'Angelo side of the Tiber to the neighborhoods of Ponte and Borgo, two of the most historic quarters of Rome, on the opposite bank.
- The bridge is crowded during the day and late into the night with visitors snapping pictures, buskers and artists, and street vendors.
- The cobblestoned bridge is flat and easy to navigate with wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
The 64 bus runs from the Termini train station to Castel Sant'Angelo, or you can walk from the Vatican.
When to Get There
The bridge is known for its great views, so visit in the early morning or late afternoon for the best light if you are interested in taking photos.
Ponte Sant'Angelo and the Vatican
Ponte Sant'Angelo is just a short walk from St. Peter's Basilica, and has been used by religious pilgrims on their final stretch to the Vatican for centuries. If you are planning on visiting the Vatican and Sistine Chapel, consider taking the scenic walk across this bridge for an unforgettable approach.