Port of Ripa Grande (Porto di Ripa Grande) & Fountain of Timone (Helm or Rudder)

"Port of Ripa Grande (Porto di Ripa Grande) & Fountain of Timone (Helm or Rudder)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Sunday 26th June 2011

Now only the name and double stairs in the walls of river side remained of what was the greatest Port of Rome built in the late Middle Ages. Here arrived the ships from all over the Mediterranean Sea till the WWI. The port was destroyed for the construction of the river side (Lungotevere). The name "Ripa Grande" was given to make the difference between another little port of "Ripetta" located up to the river in the district of Campomarzio.

Port of Ripa Grande (Porto di Ripa Grande)
The church of San Giovanni Battista dei Genovesi also owes its name to the fact that the Genoan sailors were used to rest in the nearby hospice, upon disembarking in the close harbor of Ripa Grande. Via the cloister one may access teh church, which has a single nave whose only antique parts, still present nowadays, are the Renaissance tabernacle of the "Oli Santi", by Andrea Bregno and the "Apparizione della Madonna" by Giovanni Odazi.

Importance of Ripa Grande ("Great Bank")

Ripa is short for Ripa Grande ("Great Bank"), Rome's main river port, abandoned in the 19th century, which stood on both sides of the Tiber. Only the eastern bank belongs to this district, the western one being part of Trastevere (Rione XIII).

In ancient Rome three regiones covered this area, namely the 11th (Circus Maximus), the 12th (Piscina Publica) and the 13th (Aventinus), while in the late Middle Ages this became Rome's eleventh district, called Regio Ripe et Marmorate; the name Marmorate referred to the river bank south of the Aventine Hill where, since the imperial age, rough blocks of different kinds of marble (marmora), shipped to Rome from the East, were stored in a large deposit area, called the emporium.

The port continued to function normally until the end of the 19th century, when the banks of the Tiber needed shoring up and trade and business life ceased. The ruins which were uncovered at this time, on the other side of Pons Sublicius, belonged to the Pope's dockyard, built by Carlo Fontana for Pope Clement XI, and probably designed by Bernini.

Fontana del Timone (Fountain of the Helm/ Rudder), on the ancient port of Ripa Grande

Below the Aventine Hill nothing is left of the old Ripa Grande port, after which the district was named. On the opposite side of the river, which officially belongs to Rione XIII Trastevere, against a wall hangs the small Fountain of the Rudder/ Timone (Helm) (1927), whose shape recalls Ripa district's coat of arms and placed right in front of the ancient port of Ripa Grande.
Fontana del Timone (Fountain of the Helm/ Rudder), on the ancient port of Ripa Grande
The fountain of the Timone (Helm) leans against the huge building of San Michele a Ripa. It was built by Pietro Lombardi in 1927 to commemorate the river traffics that thrived in the port of Ripagrande below.

The Fontana del Timone is local landmark that is set on two scrolls at the ends as a lot of the circular molded panels that contains two jets of water that are pouring thin wires within the collection tank underground. The Fontana del Timone was built in travertine, during 1930, and it was then placed in front of the ancient port of Ripa Grande.

Address:
Port of Ripa Grande (Porto di Ripa Grande) & Fountain of Timone (Helm or Rudder)
Ponte Fabricio
Porto di Ripa Grande, Lungotevere di Ripa
00153 , Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Trastevere (Gianicolo) (Roma centro)
Port of Ripa Grande (Porto di Ripa Grande) & Fountain of Timone (Helm or Rudder) is Shown By "Map J Zone" As "38"

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