Roman bridges, built by ancient Romans, were the first large and lasting bridges built. Roman bridges were built with stone and had the arch as its basic structure. (see arch bridge). Most utilized concrete as well, which the Romans were the first to use for bridges.
Ponte Sisto is a footbridge in Rome's historic centre, spanning the river Tiber. It connects Via del Pettinari in the Rione of Regola to Piazza Trilussa in Trastevere. The construction of the current bridge was ordered by Pope Sixtus IV (for whom it is named) using the architect Baccio Pontelli between 1473 and 1479 to replace what remained of a prior Roman bridge named Pons Aurelius.
The predecessor bridge to Ponte Sisto, the Pons Aurelius was first mentioned by authors in the 4th and 5th centuries and was later known in the Middle Ages as "Pons Antoninus", "Pons Antonini in Arenula", and "Pons Ianicularis id est pons ruptus vulgariter nominatus et Tremelus et Antoninus".
The Pons Antoninus was partially destroyed in 772 and rebuilt in its current form by Pope Sixtus IV, after whom it is still named to this day.
The bridge is architecturally characteristic because of its central circular 'Oculus' or eye. It connects the popular night-life areas near Campo de' Fiori and Trastevere and has become part of popular culture and featured in films, music videos, and adverts.
The Ponte Sisto connects the lively and Popular Piazza Trilussa in Trastevere, where many young Romans gather for an apperitivo on a Friday night, with the via Pettinary and via Giulia in Campo Marte.
On the corner of via Pettinari and via Giulia once stood a fountain, a work of the Acqua Paola Aqueduct, the water of which was brought over the bridge from the Transtiberim to the Campo Marte via Ponte Sisto.