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  • Writer's pictureJay Hicks

Just Outside Rome

Parco degli Acquedotti

There are so many great things to see in Rome. However, just a short train ride or a few metro stops away you can find some fantastic places to visit, that are relatively unknown to most.

Aqueducts of Rome

The Roman aqueduct system was used to transport fresh water to highly populated areas within the Roman Empire. Each one an amazing feat of engineering given the period of history when they were developed. The Romans improved on earlier designs from Egypt and India, quickly building an extensive and complex network across their territories. Evidence of aqueducts remain in parts of modern-day France, Spain, Greece, North Africa, and Turkey.

By 2nd century AD, every Roman enjoyed free access to public baths and running water. This was known around the world, and the benefits greatly enhanced the Roman’s standard of living.
Pont du Gard Roman Aqueduct near Nimes France

Many aqueducts can still be found throughout the Mediterranean and many other parts of Europe. Each one is striking. In fact, some are still functioning, such as Aqua Virgo (Acqua Vergine in Italian) in Rome, which terminates at the Fontana do Trevi or Trevi Fountain.

Aqueducts required a great deal of planning. They were made from a series of pipes, tunnels, canals, and bridges. Gravity and the natural slope of the land allowed aqueducts to channel water from a freshwater source, such as a lake or spring, to a city. As water flowed into the cities, it was used for drinking, irrigation, and to supply hundreds of public fountains and baths.

Parco degli Acquedotti

Some of the most striking can be found in a linear park in southeastern Rome. Take subway Metro A to metro station Giulio Agricola and walk about 7 blocks to the south west to the Parco degli Acquedotti. You will not be disappointed.

Osti Antica

This ancient city is to the west of Rome. It was well known 2 millennium ago as the seaport for Rome. After hundreds of years, the silt from the river moved the location of the river entrance to the sea away from Osti Antica and forever changed this seaport location. Pirates sacked the area and then later after hard times hit, the city became a marble storehouse and the city fell into slow decay.

Even though Osti Antica's history was well recorded, the city was covered and rediscovered last century. Interestingly, Mussolini began the excavations of the city less than a century ago. Today, only about a third of the city has been excavated. Many believe the park to be more comprehensive than the Forum downtown Rome.

You can reach Osti Antica by urban railway on the Rome-Lido train, arriving a the Lido Nord station from Porta San Paolo train station in Rome. From Lido Nord you are only a short cab ride away.

Aqueduct Remnants in Parco degli Acquedotti

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