The Aqueducts of Ancient Rome
“Water arrived in Rome on a succession of triumphal arches”: with these words the 18th-19th century writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe described the grandeur of the Roman aqueducts that still rose proudly in the capital, touched only slightly by the passing of centuries.
Colossal works of the highest engineering, Rome’s aqueducts have endured hundreds of years marked by wars, famines and natural disasters and yet they continue to characterize the Roman landscape. Portions of these structures are in the middle of the city center, crossed daily by hundreds of unsuspecting inhabitants, while other sections act as walls for modern houses. Still others rise majestically in the Roman countryside.
Together, we will journey through centuries of history, walking through the ancient aqueducts that are still preserved, yet so often overlooked. We will explain how these works were made and maintained, and we will explain the enormous value they have for Rome even today.
- In Rome, 11 aqueducts were built between the 3rd century BC and the 3rd century AD.
- Rome is the only city in the world that still uses some ancient aqueducts to supply the city with water.
- The ancient Romans knew how to calculate with impressive precision the slope necessary to make the water flow. The Aqua Virgo, still in operation today, has a gradient of about 17 cm per kilometer.
Questions we will answer
- How were the aqueducts maintained for peak operation?
- How can we associate an emperor with a specific aqueduct?
- Why do some parts of these structures actually look like doors?
- What happened to the aqueducts when Rome was besieged by enemies?
Duration: 3 hours
Pick up: Your preference
Departure time: Flexible
When: Daily (Monday to Sunday); Year round
Means of transport: Car with private driver
Languages: English, French, Italian
Suitable for children? Yes
Suitable for people with mobility issues? Yes
Walking distance: Apr. 1 km