The third-longest river in Italy, the Tiber (Tevere) winds down from the Apennine Mountains, passing through the city of Rome on its way to the coast at Ostia. This famous waterway, more than 250 miles (400 kilometers) long, has played a fundamental role in Roman history since its founding.
According to legend, the infants Romulus and Remus were abandoned on the Tiber before being rescued by a she-wolf; Romulus eventually became the founder of Rome in 753 BC. Since then, the river has been one of the city’s most important and strategic natural features, and the subject of myth and legend. Today this famous river offers unique views of Italy’s capital city and some of its most iconic sights, including Castel Sant’Angelo, St. Peter’s Basilica, and Tiber Island. And three bridges across the Tiber date from ancient Rome: Ponte Sant’Angelo, Fabricius Bridge, and the Milvian Bridge.
Consider joining a Tiber River cruise to explore the city by water. Opt for a hop-on, hop-off cruise and take in the main attractions along the waterway, or book a romantic dinner cruise for a night tour of the Eternal City. Alternatively, follow the river’s route on foot or by bike on a small-group guided tour along the river walk, perhaps pairing your exploration with a tour of Vatican City or Trastevere.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Enjoying the Tiber, whether by cruise or strolling its banks, is a must for first-time visitors to Rome.
- Tiber cruises are a relaxing way to see the city center with kids, but many walking tours are not recommended for young children.
- River cruises may not be accessible to wheelchair users, so confirm in advance. There are stairs down to the water’s edge to reach the river walk, so it is not wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The Tiber is crisscrossed by a number of bridges offering both lovely views of the river and access via stairs down to the river walk along the water’s edge.
When to Get There
The Tiber is particularly beautiful and enjoyable in the mild months of spring and fall. During the hottest months of summer, it’s best to visit the river in the early morning or late evening. Summer also sees an outdoor fair and market set up along the water with pop-up restaurants and bars, shopping, and entertainment.
Rome Attractions Along the Tiber
A hop-on, hop-off cruise along the Tiber is a fun and convenient way to discover Rome’s most important sights, including the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, Colosseum and Roman Forum, and Piazza del Popolo.