Ponte Salaro (Book 5) (Environs of Rome)
Via Salaria was (and still is) the road linking
Rome with the middle Adriatic Sea. From there Rome received salt (sale
in Italian), so Via Salaria means the road of salt. Ponte Salario crossed
the Aniene near the point where this river enters the Tiber. Destroyed
by the Goth Totila, it was rebuilt by the Byzantinian General Narses. In the description below the plate Vasi made reference to: 1) Tavern; 2) Roman inscriptions;
3) Part of the Roman bridge; 4) Tower built by Narses; 5) Via Salaria towards Rome.
The small 1920 map shows the site of Ponte Salaro.
In 1867 Garibaldi made an attempt to conquer Rome from the north
with the help of an internal revolt. The French troops destroyed
the bridge in order to block this entrance to the city and eventually defeated
Garibaldi near Mentana. The current bridge is very high on the level of
the river, so that the view has almost nothing in common with Vasi's plate.
Ponte Salaro was a preferred subject for XIXth century painters looking for a picturesque scenario. Some painters however did not bother to go to the site and they just elaborated on Vasi's etchings. Friedrich Horner, a Swiss aquarellist, on the contrary went to the spot and his 1840 painting (by courtesy of Mr Johannes Fichter) shows the bridge without the tower and with many buffaloes.
Excerpts from Giuseppe Vasi 1761 Itinerary related to this page:
Go to or to Book 5 or to my Home Page on Baroque Rome or to my Home Page on Rome in the footsteps of an XVIIIth century traveller.