Drought in Italy exposed an ancient imperial bridge over the Tiber

Rome (AFP) – Italy’s worst drought in 70 years It uncovered the piers of an ancient bridge over the Tiber that was once used by Roman emperors but was demolished by the 3rd century.

The two buttresses of the Nero Bridge can be seen most of the summer near the Vittorio Emanuele Bridge that crosses the river near the Vatican, the moss-covered pile of rocks where seagulls now bask.

The bridge was built in the first century for Emperor Nero to reach his gardens near Janiculum Hill near present-day St. Peter’s Square, said historian Anthony Maganlahti. The bridge was already collapsing by the third century, and traffic was diverted to the nearby Sant’Angelo Bridge, which was diverting pilgrims through Castel Sant’Angelo to the Vatican.

The Nero Bridge was originally thought to have had four piers, but Majanlahti says two were dismantled in the 19th century to allow for a better flow of river traffic.

“Because the river water level is now very low due to the spread of drought across Italy, we are able to see a lot of the bridge piers that we can usually see,” Maganlahti said.

In normal water level years, one bridge pier can often be seen in the driest season, but this year two piers can be seen.

The Italian government has declared a state of emergency in several regions due to the prolonged drought and the accompanying heat wave. The drought also revealed a tank from World War II In Italy’s largest river, the Po River, as well as the twentieth century decree on lakes.

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Follow all of AP’s stories on drought and the environment at https://apnews.com/hub/climate-and-environment.

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