Roman aqueduct "Aqua Augusta" is now more commonly known as the Serino
Aqueduct (L’Acquedotto Augusteo
). The beginnings of aqueducts in this region may or may
not be of
Roman origin. However, the Romans did take the concept of the aqueduct
in the area
to new heights.
First, a bit of history: the area now known as Naples
essentially a playground for the elite of Rome. The bay of Naples
housed an imperial fleet, and the surrounding area was inhabited by the
very wealthy of the empire. Given the beauty of the landscape, even to
this day, the attraction to the land is understandable. Prior to its
status as a posh Roman city, Naples started as the Greek
colony Neapolis meaning-"New City"
With the expansion of the city from a Greek colony to a
Roman city after its acquisition,
it follows that the need for water needed to be greatly improved. The
Romans brought additional water to the region via the Aqua Augusta (or
the Serino Aqueduct). Its source was the Terminio- Tuoro mountains,
just outside of Avellino. The aqueduct spanned 100kms and serviced
Naples, Pompeii and Herculaneum. The city was first supplied by the
While very little 'working' parts remain of the orginal
Aqua Augusta, the above cistern is very much intact. The cistern,
Piscina Mirabilis, was the end point of the Aqua Augusta. It is
believed that the reason for its vastness wasn't only to ensure clean
drinking water for the area's inahbitants, but to also provide for the
imperial fleet stationed nearby.
In modern times, there have been two major upgrades to
one was an addition made in the 1600s and the other followed Italian
unification. The addition made in the 1600s was engineered by Cesare
Carmignano, for whom the addition is named. The second addition was
made after unification during an outbreak of Cholera in the Naples
region in the late 1800s.
Finally, and just food for thought, theaqueduct system was vital to the region's survival during World War II. For
approximately two years it served the city as an air raid shelter.
This article is part of an evolving ItalianAware series
on Roman Aqueducts.
View more Roman Aqueducts