In addition to the famous Augustus Bridge, there are several Roman bridges within the territory of Narni, and it is nice to rediscover them through a tour along the path of the ancient Via Flaminia that hosts them.
A tour discovering the Roman bridges from Narnia to Carsulae.
In Narni the Via Flaminia divided its route, the western one to Carsulae and Bevagna, considered the ancient ones, and the eastern one to Terni and Spoleto.
Along the western part it is possible to admire remarkable sites of historical and archeological interest. Among those emerge with particular relevance the bridges that, as the ancient fonts witness, were all restored by Augustu, when in 27 BC the Senate gave to him the imperial power.
The itinerary which we suggest has the visit to the three bridges that are placed along the route which lended to Carsulae and testify to the importance that the Via Flaminia covered on Narni.
The Augustus Roman Bridge.
Placed just before the entrance of the Nera river in the narrow gorges between the spur on which stands the city of Narni and Mount Santa Croce, the Augustus Bridge is an important testimony of the Roman golden age.
It was built in 27 BC in relation to the resettlement and upgrading operations of the Via Flaminia made by the emperor Augusto.
A terrible earthquake in 847 damaged the bridge and, after a big flood, in 1053, caused it to fall. From that time on the sources, it is remembered as ruptum or dirutus.
Of the bridge, which was to be four-arched, you can admire the first arch, maybe the biggest, and the remains of two pillars. The bridge had a length of 160 meters, while the height of the arch remained is 30 meters.
The relation between the two dimensions shows immediately a strong vertical development which makes the effect of big majesty which even today characterized the remains.
The bridge is built with large blocks of travertine square and ashlar posts head and cut according to the Roman building techniques.
Live up to this wonderful work you can visit the Mill of the Marquises Eroli and the Sanctuary of Madonna del Ponte. The area is that of the departure of the cyclo-pedestrian of the Gole del Nera (=Nera river Gorges).
Via Tre Ponti 05035, Narni
The bridge can be visited both from above, through a small path parallel to the Via Flaminia, and from below via dei Tre Ponti.
It is advisable to park the car near the remains of the Augustus Bridge, in Via Tre Ponti.
The Calamone Roman Bridge.
After almost 2,5 kilometres from the Augustus Bridge, the Via Flaminia goes through the homonymous ditch through the Calamone Bridge.
It was a structure in two arches of which remain, unfortunately, only one, with the central pillar and the major part of the walls at the borders, to testify the fine workmanship in square work with orthostats and ashlar wedges, characteristic these of the bridges’ arches along the Flaminia.
The bridge, probably from augustus age, for the presence of a small central flood arch, was restored in bricks after the damages suffered during the second world war.
05035 Narni TR
It is advisable to park at the Trattoria Italia 61 and reach the bridge, which is about 200 meters away, on foot.
The Caldaro Roman Bridge.
Caldaro bridge is placed northen of Narni Scalo – almost 9 kilometres from Narni – in San Gemini location along the trace where the ancient Via Flaminia had to overcome what is now a small moat.
Its length is 74,32 meters and its width is 7,90. The central light is 9 meters, while those lateral are 5,5 except the two small arches placed on the edge that are 3,5 meters.
It was mined and blown up during the German retreat during the Second World War , but the mines only managed to blow up one arch.
Curious is an inscription of Augustus age found nearby the bridge and today preserved into the museum of Palazzo Eroli which recommended not to smear marbles and stones during the election campaign.
05035 Narni TR
It is advisable to exit at the SS3ter and park on the nearby road near the bridge.
The other Roman bridges in Narni's territory.
In addition to these most famous bridges are known other Roman bridges in the territory of Narni:
- towards the south the Flaminia, before reaching Vigne, passes over the Sanguinario Bridge – perhaps because of a battle that was fought near between the troops of Marco Emilio Emiliano and those of Publio Licinio Valeriano in 253 AD.
- The ancient Formina Path, which runs along the route of the homonymous Roman aqueduct, has four bridges: Pennina Bridge, Ponte Vecchio, Ponte Nuovo and the Cardona Bridge located near what is the Geographic Center of Peninsular Italy.
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