The Tiber River has played a significant role for millennia on the Italian Peninsula. The 252-mile river is the third longest in Italy. The source of the Tiber River is located in the Apennine Mountains in Emilia-Romagna, specifically from two springs that are separated by only 30 feet on Mount Fumaiolo. Mount Fumaiolo is in the south of Emilia-Romagna and serves as the natural border between it and Tuscany. The Tiber passes through Emilia-Romagna, Umbria, and Lazio before emptying into the Tyrrhenian Sea. The springs that give life to the main water source of Rome throughout its history are nestled in a beech forest where Benito Mussolini had placed a marble column with an inscription that reads, “Here is born the river, sacred to the destinies of Rome.”
Tiber River facts are often mixed and matched with ancient Roman mythology. Afterall, the very flag of Rome features the infants Remus and Romulus being suckled by the she-wolf that saved their lives. It is sometimes difficult to differentiate between fact and fiction when it comes to the history of ancient Rome, but this certainly makes an exploration of the city and all of its ancient treasures and ruins even that much more appealing.
The history of the Tiber River is in many ways the history of Rome itself. Roman legend declares that Rome was founded in the year 753 BC on the banks of the Tiber near Ostia. The story of the founding of Rome states that Remus and Romulus, two infant brothers, were abandoned on the waters between the ancient center of Rome and the island Isola Tiberina. They were rescued and ultimately saved by a wolf. Later the two brothers would murder their great uncle who had done the same to their father. A dispute ended in Romulus killing his brother Remus, and the name of the city was officially established. Whether or not the history of the Tiber River actually ever included two human beings named Remus and Romulus is up for speculation. What is for certain is the exceedingly significant role that the history of the Tiber River has had in terms of the development of Rome.
Tiber River facts tell us that at one time the trade route along the Tiber could see goods delivered as far as 60 miles upstream. The river was an essential element to the developing strength and ultimate dominance of the Roman Empire. Besides being a crucial route for trade and commerce, it was also the major supply source of water for the city. Its functions and uses were virtually limitless and the ancient Romans put the water source to remarkably innovative, good use.
Today, you can enjoy a dinner or sightseeing cruise along the Tiber and take in some of the most beautiful coastal sights along the city’s shores. Start out at Pont Sant Angelo Dock and enjoy a leisurely journey down the Tiber toward Tiberina Island, Ponte del Risorgimento, and the Borghese gardens. You will also have the option of taking an informative guided tour that sheds light on vital and historically accurate Tiber River facts, as well as some of the more fun legends and myths from Roman lore.