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The hidden underground treasures of the Trevi Fountain

2017-04-09

In addition to its grandiose and commanding monuments, Rome also hides very large treasures underground. One of them is this Roman aqueduct, built in 19 BC, and is amazingly still active today.

The famous Trevi Fountain was built as the pinnacle of this aqueduct, which starts in Lunghezza, 14 miles from Rome.

While doing construction a few meters from the Fountain, the owner of one of the areas most known cinemas stumbled upon a large surprise. Under the theater, there is a part of a Roman aqueduct. It is a discovery that now gives rise to this curious picture: on the left, a cinema, and on the right, the remains of the oldest aqueduct in Rome. 

LORENZO DELL'AQUILA
Director, Città dell'Acqua
"The water that flows through its structures is the same that emerges from the Trevi Fountain, from the Fontana della Barraccia at the Spanish Steps, or from the fountain just below the Pincio lookout."

"The excavations have brought light to an ancient part of Rome.” 

"The underground aqueduct carried out by Agrippa in 19 BC must be considered one of the most important testimonies of hydraulic engineering of Roman times.” 

The excavations also discovered something else: a house that would belong to one of the wealthiest families of the first century AC. They also found statues, vases, and coins that are now displayed in their antiquarian collection.

The history of this aqueduct, nine meters underground, has its origin in the same Roman Empire, although on the surface there are also traces of the medieval ages. 

LORENZO DELL'AQUILA
Director, Città dell'Acqua
"The highest level of images correspond to the city's medieval period, which developed in Rome between the seventh and twelfth century AD. It's on these structures that Rome was transformed into the Rome we know today.”

The constant clamor of the water that's heard in the background when descending this underground city has the power of relaxation, while still reflecting the historical continuity of ancient Rome to the present day. A process that even the passage of thousands of years has managed to slow down. 


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