Bridge of Castel St. Angelo

One of the most famous bridge in Rome, built in the 239 AD. Large number of medieval pilgrims making their way to St. Peter's walked along it to cross the Tiber at Ponte sant'Angelo (with its Bernini Angels). Of the businesses sprang up to try to part the pilgrims from their money, the most enduring was the selling of rosaries, and the near street is still named after the rosaries (Via dei Coronari).

The street followed the course of the ancient Roman Via Recta (straight street) which originally ran from today's Piazza Colonna to the Tiber. Making one's way through the vast trongh of people in Via dei Coronari could be extremely hazardous.

In the Holy Year of 1450, some 200 pilgrims died, crushed by the crowds or drowned in the Tiber. Following the tragedy, Pope Nicholas V demolished the Roman triumphal arch that stood at the entrance to Ponte Sant'Angelo.

In the late 15th century, Pope Sixtus IV encouraged of private houses and palaces along the street. Although the rosary seller have been replaced by antiques dealers, the street still has many original buildings from the 15th and 16th century. One of the earliest, at Nos. 156-7, is known as the House of Fiammetta, the mistress of Cesare Borgia.