Have you ever heard about the ancient aqueducts of Lazio? Perhaps you may have heard of the magnificence of the aqueducts park of the Appian Way in Rome. Yet the water, before arriving in Rome, run across a long way, coming from the surrounding mountains. And the water route is established by other aqueducts, in particular those of San Gregorio da Sassola and Gallicano nel Lazio, in the Countryside of Rome. Today this route can be traced by lovers of trekking and archeology.
Trekking in the Roman countryside
The ancient Roman aqueducts, although they can only be seen as engineering works, are beautiful, impressive artifacts with a high historical and archaeological value.
In San Gregorio da Sassola and Gallicano nel Lazio we find large tracts of the remains of the ancient aqueducts. Monuments isolated in the middle of nature and, therefore, even more beautiful and fascinating.
Visit them, requires the desire to walk in the middle of nature, in two trekking routes with low difficulty and therefore affordable for everyone, including families with children.
For the Romans, the aqueducts were fundamental (especially for hygiene), so much so that in the city, the water was very abundant. The territory that most of all testifies to this tendency of the Romans to organize their city giving priority to services such as water, is that of Tivoli.
In fact, near Poli and the ancient Tivoli (Tibur Superbum) you can admire other very ancient and well preserved Roman aqueducts. They are particularly aqueducts that served, among other things, to feed the ancient Villa of the Emperor Hadrian (Villa Adriana), rich in fountains and ponds.
In Gallicano nel Lazio in particular, but also in San Gregorio da Sassola, the remains of the aqueducts are really fascinating and perfectly preserved.
These two territories, which are part of the Archaeological Polense naturalistic park, were also celebrated by the pictures taken by Thomas Ashby as well as paintings by the aquarellist Ettore Roesler.
The aqueducts of San Gregorio da Sassola
One of the most famous aqueducts in this area is the Ponte della Mola. This aqueduct is located near San Gregorio da Sassola and is made of 8 double-order arches. You can reach this aqueduct by crossing a dirt road that will give you the opportunity to discover one of the most beautiful and best preserved engineering works of the Roman Empire.
In this area there is also the bridge of St. Peter, which has a height of 16 meters and is particularly impressive. Don’t miss the bridge of St. Anthony, which is doubtless, one of the most beautiful. Think that in ancient times it was formed by a central arch of 30 meters. This aqueduct has been a source of inspiration for many artists and is still visited because, despite being subject to numerous restorations, has nevertheless retained its grandeur and all its beauty.
The aqueduct park in Gallicano
In Gallicano nel Lazio there is the well-known Parco degli Acquedotti. This route starts from the Amato Bridge, located near Santa Maria Capua Monte, near the so-called “Tagliata” (a long artificial canyon).
This is the first bridge that can be admired in the park of the aqueducts of Gallicano nel Lazio.
Following the route of the aqueducts, you can discover the beauty and grandeur of the entire Roman water transport system, from the countryside of Rome to the capital of Italy.
Starting from the Amato Bridge, you will find, a little further on of Della Bullica bridge. This second bridge is slightly lower and is characterized by an impressive structure that is still well preserved.
Going on you go towards a cave and immediately after you find the Caipoli bridge.
Throughout the park there are also other aqueducts that you can visit, not before reaching the semi-underground cistern that is located upstream.
This is an important route that allows you to discover the area surrounding the ancient Tibur Superbum and to let people who don’t know it, to understand the entire water supply structure designed and built by the ancient Romans.
As already mentioned, thanks to paths immersed in nature, you will be able to discover these wonders in relaxing walks. Comfortable clothing, trekking shoes and a k-way are recommended.
In these last years, tourism in this area began to grow, thanks to the local associations and realities like us of Italy Where Else Italian Tour operator, who strongly bet on the appeal of the roman Countryside.