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The Eye of Sixtus Bridge

Ponte Sisto RomeThe Eye of Sixtus Bridge

In 1475 Rome was celebrating the Jubilee. Every 25 years Rome was assaulted by thousands of pilgrims from all over Europe. They were invited by the Vatican to take part to special celebrations to get the plenary indulgence and so being forgiven of their own sins. Therefore, every 25 years, important infrastructures were built or restored to welcome flows of visitors.

In 1475 the Pope was Sixtus IV, famous for the construction of the world-known Sistine Chapel named after himself and painted few years later under the Pope Julius II - his nephew - by Michelangelo.

For the 1475 Jubilee, the Pope Sixtus IV decided to build a bridge to link the area of Campo de' Fiori to Trastevere and again he named it after himself: Sixtus Bridge.

It is a 4 arch bridge and in the middle there is a big hole, called "the Eye" by the Romans. In fact it "watches" the level of Tiber River and before the tall banks were built, all the Romans were aware that if the water reached the "eye" a flood was about to start!

On Friday and Saturday summer nights, the sides of the bridge are used as seats by young people who stop there after taking a drink in Trastevere.

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