Ponte Garibaldi: the hero of two worlds for Trastevere
Ponte Garibaldi is one of the bridges built during the Risorgimento, result of an accurate work of reclamation and amelioration of the Tiber river’s banks and arrangement.
The infrastructural works were required in order to solve urban communication issues in Rome, now Capital of Italy.
The problem of links on the Tiber notably turned up in all its tragic nature after the dreadful flood that affected Rome in 1870.
Subsequent to this situation, a reassessment of the Tiber’s bridges became necessary; this operation, by the way, had already been started under the control of the Pope, but the unity of Italy sped up the works. In particular, the absolute insufficiency of viable bridges immediately appeared clear.
Ponte Garibaldi is therefore the first bridge of Rome as Capital of Italy, and considering the period in which it was built, it looks very modern and innovative. As originally designed by architect Vescovali, in fact, the bearing structure was realized in iron (later on backed with reinforced concrete, during its restoration in 1953), then faced with slabs of travertine.
The decorative elements are quite spare, we only find a few marble pillars with inscriptions recalling significant places of Garibaldi’s vicissitudes.
So, Ponte Garibaldi represents a symbolic, but also tangible foundation stone of the construction of the new capital for the newly born Kingdom of Italy, that paid homage to its heroes and founding fathers.