Park of the aqueducts: visit a true masterpiece of engineering!
Nature, history and engineering genius: this is the extraordinary mix that makes the Park of the Aqueducts (Parco degli Acquedotti) in Rome absolutely unique. This splendid green area of the capital is home to the imposing remains of 6 of the 11 aqueducts that made the city so well-known. In this article, we reveal some fascinating facts about the aqueduct park, one of Rome's most beautiful places to visit.
Park of the Aqueducts: where is it?
The Park of the Aqueducts is a green space in the south-east part of Rome, covering about 240 hectares of the Appia Antica Regional Park. It lies between the districts of Cinecittà and Quarto Miglio, with numerous entrances on via Lemonia.
Discover Rome's ancient aqueducts!
Footpaths, lush vegetation, ponds, streams and even a small waterfall form the backdrop to the imposing remains of six of the aqueducts - commissioned by Emperors and Popes alike - that supplied ancient Rome with water:
- Aqua Anio vetus (Latin for "Old Anio"), the oldest of the park's aqueducts, and for the most part subterranean;
- Aqua Marcia: built in 144 BC;
- Aqua Tepula: built in 125 BC;
- Aqua Julia (or Iulia): built in 33 BC;
- Aqua Claudio and Aqua Anio Novus: (partly overlapping) both finished in 52 AD;
- Aqua Felice: commissioned by Pope Sixtus V at the end of 1587, more than thirteen centuries after construction of the last aqueduct.
What else is there to see in the Park?
The park of the aqueducts is actually home to a number of other monuments besides Roman aqueducts. Some of the other archaeological finds at this site include:
- the Tomb of the Hundred Steps, a sort of catacomb;
- Tor Fiscale, a medieval tower where the Claudio and Marcio aqueducts meet;
- Via Latina, paved Roman road, a stretch of which can still be seen;
- Villa dei Sette Bassi, one of the largest villas in the Roman suburbs;
- Villa delle Vignacce, complete with an adjoining water tank;
- Aqua Mariana, an artificial water channel commissioned by Pope Calixtus II in 1122 to supply mills and irrigate orchards and vegetable gardens;
- Casale del Sellaretto, an old roadman's house dating from 1862;
- Casale di Roma Vecchia, a building dating back to around the 13th century.
In short, there is a great deal to discover!
“And… action!”: on location at the Park of the Aqueducts
We leave you with an interesting fact. Thanks not only to its evocative beauty, but also its proximity to the Cinecittà film studios, the aqueduct park has been used upon numerous occasions as a film set.
Indeed, the Park of the Aqueducts in Rome has hosted the filming of many cinematic masterpieces, including "La Dolce Vita", "Mamma Roma", "The Marquis del Grillo", "Totò, Peppino and the Hussy" and, last but not least of course, "The Great Beauty". The aqueduct park has also featured in several TV series, such as "I Cesaroni" and "Distretto di Polizia".
Fancy discovering more routes and interesting facts relating to the city's water heritage?
Consult the Waidy WOW map!