In the middle of the Tiber and connected to the mainland by the Fabricio Bridge, on the side of the Capidoglio, and the Cestio Bridge, on the Trastevere side, the Tiberina Island is a small island in the middle of the Eternal City. It is said that this is the smallest inhabited island in the world, but record or not the Tiber Island remains particularly characteristic and subject of some legends.
In ROME there is the SMALLEST and most ANCIENT inhabited ISLAND in the world
#The legends of how it was born
How the Tiber Island was born seems a mystery, perhaps because of the many legends told. It is believed that the island has very ancient origins, even dating back to 509 BC, when the last king of Rome was overthrown. Once Lucius Tarquinius the Proud was defeated, the Romans poured the king’s grain into the Tiber to prove their hate for the tyrant and the sheaves formed the islet. Considering the ancient origins, someone could think that the Tiberina Island is also the oldest inhabited island in the world, but once again “it may be” because no one is sure of its history.
However, the most famous legend told about the island of Tiberina is the one set in 291 BC, an epidemic year in Rome. To stop the spread of the plague, the priests sent a delegation to Epidaurus (Greece) where there was the cult of Aesculapius. Returning from the mission by ship, a snake was brought to Rome. The snake escaped right at the height of the island Tiberina then the Romans decided to build a temple with a stone ship shape to honor Aesculapius (the current church of Saint Bartholomew).
#The competition with the American island: which is the smallest one?
Legends aside, according to some the Tiberina island is the smallest inhabited island in the world. Howerver the Roman island competes with the Just Room Enough Island. Known as Hub Island, the latter island is located in the Thousand Island archipelago of New York and consists of a single house with a small piece of beach as a garden. It was purchased in 1950 by the Sizeland family who wanted to live in a quiet place and opted for one in the middle of the sea.
We don’t know which island is the smallest one but we know that of the Tiber Island is certainly one of the smallest inhabited islands in the world and, at this point, perhaps the smallest in Europe. The island measures 300m in length and about 90 in width and, considering its small size, is often crowded.
# A unique and evocative island
In the Middle Age the island Tiberina became the island of the sick and is still known by this name. Today walking around the Roman island is a unique and evocative experience, because it isn’t the typical open-air shopping center, on the contrary it is an island where you can find all its history simply by walking in its streets.