The bridge over the Marecchia, whose construction began in 14 AD under Augustus and then finished in 21 AD by the emperor Tiberius, has marked 2000 years of history of the city of Rimini.
The construction of a monumental bridge in a strategic sector for the ancient road network and for accessing the city has made it possible not only to overcome a hydrographic obstacle, the Ariminus river, but also to facilitate travel, connections, exchanges, commerce and relations between peoples . Moreover, its strategic importance is highlighted by the attempts at destruction to which it was subjected, which mark critical historical phases for Rimini: in 552 when the Gothic general Usdrila destroyed the bridge to stop the Byzantine general Narses; in 1528 when Pandolfo Malatesta tried to set it on fire; finally during the Second World War, when it survived an attempted destruction by the Germans.
The bridge, in addition to having represented a symbol of entry into the city center in different eras, brings together numerous aspects which, starting from archeology and architecture, cross sectors such as the landscape, artistic, epigraphic, figurative and beyond. It is thus that the study and research on the Augustus and Tiberius Bridge require an analysis of its many aspects and its various readings, with the aim of creating a global vision that highlights its interrelationships with history, with peoples and in general with the rich cultural heritage of Rimini.
In fact, the awareness and valorisation activities centered on the bridge cannot fail to take into account the various elements that characterize it. Thus, the data recovered from the excavations conducted between 1989 and 1991 and from the recent surveys of 2022 are of fundamental importance for archeology; for the arts in general it has constituted an element of analysis and reproduction, including the depiction of the bridge in the panel of Cancer by Agostino di Duccio, inside the Malatesta Temple; for architecture the study of the restoration of the bridge is certainly important, as is the fortune it had among architects. First of all we mention Andrea Palladio who in 1570 in the Quattro libri dell'Architettura wrote «how many bridges if they are seen by everyone, it seems the most beautiful and the most worthy of consideration, both for the fortress, as for its compartment, ... ».
The volume dedicated entirely to the monumentality of the bridge is divided into two parts, one dedicated to the "portrait of the bridge" which tries to represent its uniqueness between archaeological, architectural, epigraphic and figurative aspects; the other part allows you to broaden your gaze on what the stones of the structure can tell, between past and present, linking different researches and stories.
In this way, the editorial project becomes a project to enhance one of the symbolic places of the Roman world of Rimini, which presents reflections on the monument, crossing different lines of research, giving value to the cultural heritage and its potential, consequently improving its collective knowledge .
The volume is enriched by the collaboration of various institutions, organizations and scholars who, by bringing together their various professionals, have created a global and multifaceted vision of the bridge, a monument-symbol of the city of Rimini together with the Arch of Augustus.
Superintendent of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape
for the provinces of Ravenna, Forlì-Cesena and Rimini