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The Tiber and its bridges

Ponte Milvio

Ponte Milvio, also referred to as the “Lovers’ Bridge” due to the chains of padlocks left hanging on its lampposts by sweethearts wishing to leave a token of their never-ending affection for each other, links the banks of the River Tiber to the north of the city.
The bridge was constructed in order to prolong the Via Flaminia, enabling it to reach across the river. It was here that one of the pivotal moments of Roman history was decided: the Battle of the Milvian Bridge on 28th October 312 A.D.  Maxentius’ unsuccessful stand at the bridge (he himself was forced to retreat and drowned in the river) opened the way for Constantine I to become the sole ruler of the empire, while the battle is also said to be have marked the beginning of the latter’s conversion to Christianity.
Besides being a favourite spot for nightlifers looking for a “simpatico” bar or other, every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Ponte Milvio also provides the charming setting for an antiques fair. At this “Anticaglie a Ponte Milvio. Il primo mercato dell’antiquariato”, a couple of hours may be passed ambling among the 200 stands, browsing through the varied antique pieces, collectors’ items which include small picture frames, jewellery, knick-knacks, books of all shapes and sizes.

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