|First step in the aqueduct hunt: waiting for the bus to get around the corner of|
the tagliata [the "cut" in the tufo] - a car driver finally got out and directed traffic.
|Yes, we thought this map would get us there.|
|What we thought we'd find - these are at Parco degli Acquedotti,|
number 2 on our RST Top 40 list.
|The first or second century AD bridge on the ancient Roman road|
to Palestrina - Ponte Amata. Not an aqueduct, but our starting point.
|Dianne on the ancient via Prenestina, just before Ponte Amata.|
We trudged down a road, that became increasingly sterrata - or unpaved, until we came to another signpost - indicating our aqueduct was - to our surprise - far below where we were walking.
|Our first aqueduct siting: Ponte della Bullica. Dianne's red jacket|
is visible where she's standing on the aqueduct bridge, about 50 feet above the
bottom of the fosso.
There are four aqueducts that cross through the valleys or gullies in this fairly compact area around the via Prenestina here, including Anio Vetus, Aqua Marcia, Anio Novus and Aqua Claudio, several on top of each other through the same structure. That's a fine collection of aqueducts for any aqueduct hunter.
|Amazing Roman engineering: Ponte Pischero, that carried the aqueduct|
|We nixed the spelunking.|
We found another aqueduct bridge, complete with caves that apparently one can explore - we chose not to: Ponte Pischero, billed as carrying the Anio Vetus water in 270 AD.
And then our guideposts mysteriously disappeared. After more than an hour of traipsing around, through, and back and forth through farmers' fields, we were ready to give up.
|But views were great.|
We found ourselves on a road that wasn't on our map. [Most of the hiking maps are laid over World War II maps], with cars whizzing by.
|Wait...this road isn't on the map.|
Miraculously, it seemed, we saw a sign for via Francigena, one of the many St. Francis paths that cross central Italy. We took a chance that it might follow the aqueduct route and scouted it out across the road.
|The hazards of aqueduct hunting: a possible path through a dump.|
|Our last sighting: the aqueduct bridge, Taulella, carried Anio Vetus water.|
Perhaps we'll go back one day to see if we can locate the other sites on the map. But maybe not. We think we've earned our aqueduct hunter badge by now, and may let it rest.
Links that might be helpful: http://www.tesorintornoroma.it/Itinerari/La-Via-Prenestina/Gallicano-nel-Lazio-Itinerario-degli-acquedotti-romani-e-ponte-Amato
|What the top of an aqueduct bridge looks like today;|
complete with rope so you don't fall over.
|More examples of great Roman engineering; still with us.|