A Tourist in Rome - Aqua Claudia
|Location:||At Aqueduct Park, Porta Maggiore, and other places|
|Metro:||Subaugusta, Manzoni, located along my Southeastern Sights Walking Tour|
|Time:||about 1 hour at Aqueduct Park, about 10 minutes at Porta Maggiore|
|Hours:||Viewable at any time|
Aqua Claudia was an aqueduct in ancient Rome. This aqueduct has the best visible remains today. It can be seen at several locations in Rome: perhaps the best are at Aqueduct Park (1st photo below) and at Porta Maggiore (2nd photo below). It and the Aqua Anio Novus were begun by emperor Caligula in 38 AD and completed by Claudius who dedicated them on August 1, 52 AD. Aqua Claudia was apparently defective, since it required repairs which closed the aqueduct for nine years and were completed by Vespasian in 71 AD. Another set of repairs was performed under Titus in 81 AD. The aqueduct's source was a number of springs in the Anio Valley. Originally the Caeruleus and Curtius were used, later the Albudinus spring was added. The aqueduct was 45 miles long, most of which was underground until it reached a filtering tank near Capannelle, near the seventh milestone of the Via Latina, not far from Aqueduct Park, where it was then carried into Rome on a channel below that of the Aqua Anio Novus as it crossed land on a long series of high arches as the land's elevation lowered toward Rome. The whole time it dropped one foot closer to the center of the earth per 300 feet of travel, so gravity could pull the water downhill into Rome. After about 7 miles on arches, the Aqua Claudia entered Rome at Spes Vetus and approached the Porta Maggiore. It was split here by Nero with his split heading southwest toward the Palatine Hill and the main flow crossing over Porta Maggiore, then turning gradually left to a no-longer-extant settling tank near the Temple of Minerva Medici from which service was provided to the Caelian Hill, the Palatine Hill, the Aventine Hill and Trastevere. Together, the Aqua Claudia and Aqua Anio Novus nearly doubled the water supply into Rome. It supplied all fourteen districts of Rome. Because of the maintenance required by these two aqueducts, water administrators and maintenance crew doubled in numbers, including crews who patrolled the lines to dismantle the numerous illegal taps. The 3rd and 4th photos below show the remains of the Aqua Nero branch of the Aqua Claudia, found near San Giovanni in Laterano.