Rome’s Mayor Virginia Razzi has sent Romans and tourists reaching for their Speedos with the news in December that in 2018, the Eternal City will be getting its own 10,000sqm of beach to relax on.
The beach will be situated at Ponte Marconi in the Ostiense area of the city – the bridge is a modern construction started in 1937 and finished in 1953 after WWII interrupted building work.
There are already several beaches near the Italian capital, including Anzio at Lazio, as well as Sperlonga, which is a must-visit for history buffs because of the archeological museum built on the site of an ancient grotto devoted to Emperor Tiberius.
The River Tiber was not named after Tiberius, however – but after the king of Alba Longa, Tiberinus, who drowned in it. Before it was re-named the Tiberis, it was known as the Albulula because of its white colour, presumably caused by the foaming waters. These days it is less pristine – but is still used for rowing and boating.
Mayor Razzi’s plans include monitoring water quality of the river around Ponte Marconi – and also employing drones to make sure refuse is not dumped in the Tiber, adding to pollution.
The river has always been the lifeblood of Rome – and often used to burst its banks before it was contained between the high walls that now protect the city. The Romans were the first to link the Tiber to a sewerage system to serve the city – and at one time, luxurious homes and extravagant gardens lined the banks, which supplied ancient Rome with fruit and vegetables.
These days, many of the important sites in Rome are dotted along the river, including the Vatican City and Castel Sant’ Angelo, nearby. The law courts also overlook the river, just in case the verdict is really bad!
It was also rumoured that the artist Caravaggio used bodies dragged from the river at night as models when he was painting in Rome from 1592-1600. It is just a rumour, although it has been remarked that some of his models look suspiciously pasty and bloated.
What is certain, however, is that in 2018, Rome will have its very own beach – so get your Speedos ready if you are visiting the Eternal City this summer – and don’t forget the Factor 50.
As Mark Antony said, according to Shakespeare, “Let Rome in Tiber melt…”
A beach in Rome is probably going to be that hot, especially with you on it!
Want to go to Rome now? Download ROME ALONE and ROME AGAIN free at Kindle Unlimited or for £2.40 each – and set off to the Eternal City for a weekend of surprises, as unhappy housewife Bee and newly-divorced Alzheimer’s expert Dr Neil McCarthy leave from opposite ends of the country for a mini-break full of the unexpected that will change their lives forever. Return to Rome with them three years later and discover the forces at work which they never suspected on their first trip.
ROME ALONE was short-listed for the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook’s New Novel Centenary Award.
Both books contain sexual content, adult themes and dark humour which some might find upsetting. Also scenes of shopping, gelati, vino rosso, amore and Rome.
Download ROME ALONE
Download ROME AGAIN
Catch up with the story in VERONA ALONE, when the action shifts to the ancient city of Verona, when former cellist Moira marks her divorce by fulfilling a girlhood dream of visiting the city during the annual opera season. There she is taken under the wing of a generous and quirky American, who appears to have a secret.
Download VERONA ALONE
The sequel VERONA AGAIN will be published on Kindle in 2018.
Meanwhile, enjoy the making of an opera at Arena di Verona…
Featured image: River Tiber at Ponte Palatino
All images copyright A. Meredith