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The volcanic soils at the foot of Prenestini Mounts are furrowed by sub-horizontal deep valleys, sometimes real canyons, immersed in an environment
of cultivated fields and woods.
Numerous and often impressive Roman remains appear throughout this area creating an extraordinary, magical harmony between Nature, Man and Time.
I remember ...
Four of the 11 aqueducts of ancient Rome took water from the Aniene valley: Anio Vetus, Aqua Marcia, Aqua Claudia, Anio Novus. From Tivoli, however, where Aniene river rushes towards the Roman countryside in a sequence of waterfalls, they did not continue straight towards Rome but deviated towards the hills at the foot of the Latium Volcano, so as to reach the city with a longer route which would allow a smaller and more regular slope. The aqueducts were dug underground, but the volcanic hills are crossed by deep valleys that the aqueducts had to pass on bridges, often long and majestic. Over the centuries the bridges weakened, began to collapse, and the Romans had to reinforce them with retaining walls that made them even bigger and more majestic. Then came the Barbarians and the decline of Rome, the aqueducts stopped working and over the centuries they gradually fell into ruin. But some of the most impressive bridges are still standing, monuments in the middle of the solitary tuffaceous valleys between the Prenestini Mounts and Latium Volcano.
In Fosso Saviano valley (called Valle della Mola) there are two of these monumental bridges: Ponte della Mola (Anio Vetus aqueduct) and Ponte San Pietro (St. Peter's bridge, Aqua Marcia aqueduct). And the view of the two bridges alone is worth the trip.
Copyright © 2002- Michele Angileri. All rights reserved.