Water Features
Paxtonia Pennsylvania

Rome’s Ingenious Water Delivery Solutions

With the construction of the 1st elevated aqueduct in Rome, the Aqua Anio Vetus in 273 BC, individuals who lived on the city’s foothills no longer had to depend strictly on naturally-occurring spring water for their needs. During this period, there were only two other systems capable of providing water to higher areas, subterranean wells and cisterns, which gathered rainwater. To offer water to Pincian Hill in the early sixteenth century, they applied the new approach of redirecting the motion from the Acqua Vergine aqueduct’s underground network. The aqueduct’s channel was made accessible by pozzi, or manholes, that were positioned along its length when it was first designed. Though they were initially manufactured to make it possible to service the aqueduct, Cardinal Marcello Crescenzi started using the manholes to accumulate water from the channel, commencing when he obtained the property in 1543. It appears that, the rainwater cistern on his property wasn’t enough to fulfill his needs. To give himself with a more practical way to obtain water, he had one of the manholes exposed, providing him access to the aqueduct below his residence.Chronicle Fountains 207025070414862650.jpg

A Chronicle of Fountains

The translation of hundreds of classic Greek documents into Latin was commissioned by the scholarly Pope Nicholas V who ruled the Church in Rome from 1397 until 1455. It was imperative for him to beautify the city of Rome to make it worthy of being called the capital of the Christian world. Starting in 1453, the ruined ancient Roman aqueduct known as the Aqua Vergine which had brought clean drinking water into the city from eight miles away, underwent repair at the bidding of the Pope. A mostra, a monumental commemorative fountain constructed by ancient Romans to mark the point of entry of an aqueduct, was a practice which was revived by Nicholas V. The architect Leon Battista Alberti was directed by the Pope to put up a wall fountain where we now find the Trevi Fountain. The aqueduct he had refurbished included modifications and extensions which eventually allowed it to supply water to the Trevi Fountain as well as the famed baroque fountains in the Piazza del Popolo and the Piazza Navona.