We arrived at the Tiber River at the spot with the Museo dell’ Ara Pacis (museum of the Altar of Peace). This museum is one of the very few modern buildings in central Rome and looks kind of out of place compared to the rest of the city. Because most of Rome is a gigantic historic zone it’s nearly impossible to build new structures there. This is also why Rome’s metro network isn’t as extensive as the ones you find in Paris, Barcelona, or other major Western European cities. If the city ever tried to dig new tunnels they’d inevitably hit Roman ruins and have to stop for months (or years) while archeologists worked on them. We didn’t go inside the museum but checked out the exterior and also paid a quick visit to the neighboring Mausoleum of Augustus. Rome’s first emperor was buried in this mausoleum and after the Western Roman Empire collapsed it was used for a number of purposes including as a castle, a garden, and even a concert hall. The mausoleum unfortunately was not as well maintained as some other Roman structures in the city and has been deteriorating for centuries but right now restoration work is being done on it and a sign on the fence around the mausoleum said that it would be opening up to the public within a few years.
Once we were done with the mausoleum we crossed the Ponte Cavour Bridge and went down to the banks of the Tiber. We proceeded to walk a short distance downriver to the next bridge. Walking the Tiber River isn’t as scenic as walking along the Seine or the Thames and most people in Rome seem to just ignore the Tiber, which is understandable since the river is sunk far enough below street level that it’s easy to not even notice it. The nice part about walking along the Tiber is that it gets you away from Rome’s traffic for a little bit and I imagine the city’s runners enjoy having a place where they can exercise without having to dodge cars and mopeds.
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