Rome’s Ingenious Water Delivery Solutions

Rome’s very first raised aqueduct, Aqua Anio Vetus, was built in 273 BC; before that, citizens residing at higher elevations had to rely on natural springs for their water. Outside of these aqueducts and springs, wells and rainwater-collecting cisterns were the only technologies obtainable at the time to supply water to locations of high elevation. In the very early sixteenth century, the city began to make use of the water that ran below the ground through Acqua Vergine to provide drinking water to Pincian Hill. Pozzi, or manholes, were built at standard intervals along the aqueduct’s channel. While these manholes were manufactured to make it much easier to preserve the aqueduct, it was also possible to use buckets to extract water from the click now channel, which was exercised by Cardinal Marcello Crescenzi from the time he bought the property in 1543 to his passing in 1552. Reportedly, the rainwater cistern on his property wasn’t enough to meet his needs. That is when he made the decision to create an access point to the aqueduct that ran under his residential property.

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