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A boat ride on the Tiber to see it from unusual perspectives

Let’s set off together for a boat ride on the Tiber from Ponte Marconi, in which to admire sides hidden to those who experience it only on land. According to legend Romulus delimited the first perimeter of Rome on the Palatine, but it would be along the river that the Urbe would develop. Trade with settlements along the same shores and the arrival of the sea would allow for increasingly broad exchanges over vast distances.

Born on a hill, the city has an ancient link of development with its river

The Tiber has been a protagonist in Roman history, with its harbors-that of Ripetta (1704-1870)-the stopovers for seaplanes and movie beaches. And its overflows that flooded the present historic center and ended with the great walls built after Rome became the capital of Italy.

Today the river is no longer experienced as an urban beating heart. But tourist boats, summer events on the banks and nostalgic fishermen continue to frequent it. Every now and then someone wants to make it a transport route by relieving road traffic. To date only a few rowing boats ply its waters.

Photos capture nature, unusual views and rare presences

The distance between the water and the busy street contributes to an unreal silence for downtown Rome. Our boat leaves a wake that is not interrupted by that of other boats; today we are alone. The sounds we hear then are those of nightingales, further on of intrusive parakeets and toward the end of the trip. Arriving at the mouth of Fiumicino, even of cheerful titmice beyond the screeching of seagulls.

Look there at the bridge you have always seen from “above” as it appears instead from “below.” How much mastery of construction is revealed from here. And the trees, the hedges, the shrubs in various shades of green, who had ever seen them aboard vehicles drowned in traffic?

Rome is also beautiful from here, because it reveals one of its thousand different faces that it shows only to those who have the will to find it. The photographer shoots, the passengers on the boat pass the binoculars around to peer at the details of this unusual panorama, of this nature. A boat ride on the Tiber can be unforgettable.

Navigating the river has a whole other meaning

Facing the Tiber has a different charm. For old Romans and lovers of popular music, “Er barcarolo va contro corente e quando canta l’eco s’arisente. Si è vero, fiume, che tu dai la pace, fiume affatato, nun me la negà…”. (The boatman goes against the current and when he sings you can hear the echo. If it’s true that you give peace, magic river don’t deny it to me).

A sad story, as opposed to the carefree merriment of the young fiumaroli, styled by Renato Salvadori and Marisa Allasio, in the film “Poveri ma belli” (That it means: poor but beautiful young people). The river has always inspired art; the same word “Lungotevere” is found in the songs of Gabriella Ferri, Claudio Baglioni and Valerio Mazzei.

In the visual arts it has inspired the works of Roesler Franz, Anesi, Locatelli, Van Lint, Epifani, Quajotto and many others who have immortalized various views. But nothing replaces the excitement of personal experience that we have tried to portray with Ezio Bocci’s evocative photos and texts by yours truly.

If you are planning a walk in Trastevere or a ride to the Tiber Island look for ways to navigate some of the Tiber. After all, it has been giving pleasure to do so for more than two thousand seven hundred years.

With the Blog of Rome and Latium Region Around Rome guides you to discover places and territories for the pleasure of satisfying curiosity and putting culture at the service of people and businesses.

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Edited by il NETWORK | text Andrea Franchini | photo  Ezio Bocci

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