From Tiber Island to Piazza del Popolo on foot. The Tiber as you've never seen it

Passeggiata a lungotevere

Rome would be very different without the blonde Tiber, its historic river that has accompanied it for thousands of years, faithfully witnessing glories and decays. The Tiber contributes to giving the city its unique personality thanks also to the ancient bridges that cross it, connecting the two banks and thus the wonderful districts that characterize the immediate vicinity, also offering breathtaking views. One lenta walk following the path of the Tiber it is an unmissable stop for anyone visiting the city. Churches, monuments, cobbled streets and many small wonders of the capital will gradually appear on the horizon.

In this article we propose one of the many possible itineraries, the one that goes from the Tiber Island to Piazza del Popolo following the course of the Tiber.

The Tiber Island and the bridges of Rome

Let's start fromTiber Island, the only urban island in Rome and an enchanted place where you can get lost accompanied only (or almost only) by the sounds of the river. Here there is the church of San Bartolomeo, built in the 10th century on the ruins of the temple of Aesculapius. A fascinating place that is certainly worth a visit. After admiring the church we can head along the Tiber to begin our walking tour. Fabricio Bridge also known as the 'bridge of the four leaders', it connects the Tiber island to the left bank of the Tiber: that is, it allows you to pass from Lungotevere de' Cenci to Rione Sant'Angelo. Through Cestius Bridge instead the island is connected to the right bank of the Tiber where the Trastevere district is located. However, there are many suggestive bridges that allow us to pass from one bank to the other on our journey towards Piazza del Popolo. Ponte Garibaldi, Ponte Sisto, Ponte Mazzini, Ponte Duca Amedeo D'Aosta, Ponte Umberto I and Ponte Cavour will be of great help to us. Without forgetting Ponte Sant'Angelo. But let's take it easy.

The charm of Trastevere

It's really difficult to choose a side to focus on, there is so much beauty that they both deserve time. On the left going towards Piazza del Popolo, along Lungotevere Raffaello Sanzio, a look at the glimpses of Trastevere is unmissable. Here you can still savor the true and serene Rome of the past starting from Piazza Trilussa and then continuing through small buildings, shops, houses with clothes hanging on the line, Madonnas on the walls, restaurants, small squares, churches. Crossing Ponte Sisto you can then admire it via dei Pettinari, Farnese Palace with its fountain, via Giulia and the splendid one Field of flowers with the market still full of flavors of the past and the statue of Giordano Bruno to remind us of what once was.

The wonder of Piazza Navona and its surroundings

Continuing along Lungotevere Sangallo we find ourselves among the suggestive views of Via dei Banchi Vecchio, one of the oldest streets in Rome, very quiet and full of artisan shops and cafés. The road then crosses Corso Vittorio Emanuele II from which we arrive at the wonderful Piazza Navona, famous all over the world. In addition to the majesty of the square, let's admire all the views and side streets, keeping our eyes wide open to grasp every detail and let's not forget a stop at the Bramante Cloister, a wonderful example of Renaissance architecture that always hosts interesting exhibitions.

Sant'Angelo castel

Now let's cross the bridge again and go to the other side to enjoy the beauty of Sant'Angelo castel. Do you need introductions? Hadrian's mausoleum overlooking the Tiber and connected by a bridge adorned with wonderful statues of angels, it is one of the unmissable monuments of the capital and offers one of the most evocative views of the Tiber. Let's stop here for a few minutes to fully savor its splendor and then get ready to pick up the pace again by crossing to the other side of the Tiber.

The Ara Pacis and its surroundings

Continuing on the Tor di Nona side of the Tiber, here we are admiring the Napoleonic Museum, Palazzo Altemps and then climbing up to theAra Pacis that is, the famous temple dedicated to the pax Augustea and 'protected' today by a minimalist project by Richard Meier. Not far away we still honor Augustus with the mausoleum dedicated to him (i.e. the remains of the tomb dedicated to the famous emperor) and give ourselves a refreshment stop at 'Gusto in Piazza Augusto Imperatore. Here we can relax and eat one of the many options based on the time of day and then leave refreshed and satisfied to enjoy the last splendid stretch towards the final stage.

Via di Ripetta, via del Corso and Piazza del Popolo

And here we are almost at the end of our journey walking along via di Ripetta, a long road rich in history where we proceed between stops and detours to see the Goethe's house, the doll hospital, the Navigators' Fountain in what was once the Port of Ripetta. But also the nearby streets such as via del Vantaggio, via dell'Oca but also the largest Via del Corso and the neighbor via Margutta with its artisans. And at the end of Via del Corso, tired but full of beauty, we arrive at Piazza del Popolo where we can admire the Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo, the two twin churches of Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria in Montesanto, the oldest obelisk in Rome and the fountain by Giacomo della Porta. The Pincio hill rises behind us…