The bridge of Augustus in Narni
Discover the ancient crossing on the river Nera
Do you know Narni? It's a town in Terni province, known especially for its past as a Roman colony. Even the name derives from the Latin Narnia, which used to be the moniker of the river Nera.
These ancient conquerors left many traces in the area. One of these, known as the bridge of Augustus, is located near Narni Scalo.
This crossing dates back from around the year 27 BC, and was erected right along the Flaminia road, built by will of consul Caius Flaminius to connect Rome with Rimini on the coast in 220 BC.
The original shape of the bridge featured four wide arches. Today only the first and largest one remains discernible, along with a few fragments from the original structure.
This is because over the centuries the bridge has had to withstand not only the natural corrosive effects of time and weather, but also a first collapse in the 8th century. In 847, after being re-built with scavenged materials, it was again damaged by an earthquake.
Around the year 1000 the upper part of the bridge also collapsed and was never mended. That is why many documents from the time make mention of Ponte Rotto, a ‘broken bridge'. However, the bridge's ruined state did not prevent artists and painters from the world over to admire it and be inspired by it.
Even Jean Baptiste Camille Carot, who came to Italy in the 19th century during his Grand Tour, passed by Narni and was captivated by it. His painting, depicting the viaduct, is held today in the Louvre in Paris.
Today, the location, enshrined by Umbria's typical vegetation, is well suited to long walks and open-air excursions with family and friends.