Hidden Rome: Inside Rome’s Ponte Milvio Neighborhood

Take a break from Rome’s touristic areas and explore a hidden gem only the Romans know about.

Do a quick Google search and let us know if it doesn’t seem like the only attractive areas in Rome are the historic center, Testaccio, Monti and Trastevere.

Sure, they’re the beating heart of the city, but there are plenty of local neighborhoods that definitely shouldn’t be getting the cold shoulder. One of these is the famous Ponte Milvio neighborhood in Roma nord.

Ever heard of it? It’s one of the biggest nightlife areas of northern Rome, filled with restaurants and bars. Let us guide you though this local gem, giving you some interesting insights about one of the most sprawling local neighborhoods of Rome.

Ponte Milvio is one of Rome's hidden gems. Step off the beaten path with us as we explore this charming, historic neighborhood.

It’s known as the lover’s bridge

You may not have heard of the 2007 movie Ho Voglia di Te starring Riccardo Scamarcio, but everyone knows about the trend it set in Rome.

Two love birds walk on the Ponte Milvio (ponte means bridge) and decide to padlock a chain around one of the bridge’s lampposts, then throw the key into the Tiber river as a symbol of their everlasting love.

As you might’ve guessed, teenagers went crazy for the movie and started picking up the trend. All of a sudden, Ponte Milvio’s lamp posts were covered in locks—so much so that the locks were later removed in fear the bridge was going to collapse!

The Ponte Milvio bridge in Rome was just one of many bridges around the world that was covered in "love locks" at one time or another.
The locks that decorated Ponte Milvio are no more, but they’ll always be tied to the bridge—even if just in the memories of those who put them there. Photo credit: Luciano

It’s where Constantine the Great converted to Christianity

That’s right, Ponte Milvio is an extremely important bridge: the first Christian Emperor of Rome decided to convert to Christianity right there in the year 312!

History says that before the battle of Ponte Milvio, where Constantine the Great defeated his opponent Maxentius, Constantine had a vision of a cross in the sky, with the inscription “by this symbol you will conquer.”

After winning the battle, he converted to Christianity. That’s to say, that if it weren’t for Ponte Milvio, the world might not be the same today! We bet this adds another layer to your stroll along the pedestrian-only bridge.

The Ponte Milvio bridge in Rome is where the emperor Constantine converted to Christianity centuries ago!
The centuries-old bridge was the site of one of the most important turning points in Roman history. Photo credit: antmoose

It’s a concentration of delicious eateries, restaurants and bars

Just like every other Roman neighborhood, life in Ponte Milvio is concentrated around its piazza and famous Via Flaminia and Viale di Tor di Quinto. Bars and restaurants dot the piazza and surrounding streets, attracting local crowds.

From breakfast to lunch, dinner and aperitif, there are plenty of memorable places for a meal in Ponte Milvio. Start your day at Panificio Nazzareno with homemade croissants and freshly squeezed orange juice or cappuccino. Another option is the famous Pasticceria Mondi for some delicious pastries and coffee.

For lunch, Met Concept Restaurant is the place to go! Enjoy their beautiful outdoor area and delicious lunch buffet at a fixed price. There’s something for every taste, from vegetarians to carb and meat lovers! They also have a great wine selection if you want to grab lunch with a glass of vino.

Head to Gianfornaio for aperitivo with delicious pizza al taglio (pizza by the slice) and yummy cocktails! Or better yet, head back to Panificio Nazzareno for happy hour boards with cured meats and cheeses.

Dinner? Don’t miss creative and classic pizzas at TreeToo paired with amazing cocktails or organic wines and craft beers. For the meat lovers? Macello is heaven on a plate with its spit-roasted chicken, beef and wide selection of tartares. For burgers, Roma Beer Company is your best bet, accompanied by a wow-inducing selection of craft beers.

If you have a sweet tooth, stop by Pompi to taste one of the best tiramisus in Rome, or try the unbeatable gelato at Gelateria il Pellicano (Piazzale di Ponte Milvio, 19).  

Rome's Ponte Milvio district is home to some of the best food, coffee, and wine in town.
The Ponte Milvio area is a wonderland of classic Italian cafes, buzzing bars, and fabulous restaurants.

It’s a wine lover’s dream come true

Every year, wine lovers start the countdown to a 10-day-long wine festival a stone’s throw away from Ponte Milvio. It’s called Vinofòrum and it’s where thousands of Italian wine labels are put on offer each June. Each edition has something new to offer, but one thing’s for sure: you get to taste lots of great wine!

Once you’ve purchased your ticket, you’ll be given a small sheet with your personal wine glass (that you can take home afterwards—a souvenir you’ll actually use!). You have 10 tastings included in your ticket. It couldn’t be easier to discover tons of new Italian wines.

Calling all curious travelers! Do you love connecting with the local community while in a new place? We’re right there with you. We’d love to keep connecting you to Rome through our newsletter. It comes out a couple of times a month, brimming with dispatches on culture, recipes, tips and even a discount or two!

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