Cisterne Romane

Roman Cistern


Useful Information

Location: Piazza Matteotti 75, Amelia.
(42.558606, 12.412295)
Open: APR to JUL Fri-Sun, Hol 10:30-13, 16-18.
AUG Thu-Sun 10:30-13, 16-18.
SEP to OCT Fri-Sun 10:30-13, 16-18.
NOV to MAR Sat, Sun, Hol 10:30-13, 16-18.
Closed 25-DEC.
[2020]
Fee: Adults EUR 7, Children (6-14) EUR 2, Children (0-5) free, Disabled free.
Groups (15+): Adults EUR 5, School Pupils free.
Ticket valid 15 days for 16 museums in 12 towns.
[2020]
Classification: SubterraneaCistern
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=57 m, W=20 m, H=5.70m
Guided tours: D=30 min.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
Address: Museo archeologico, Piazza Matteotti, 75, Amelia (TR), Tel: +39-0744-978120, Fax: +39-0744-978120. E-mail:
Associazione "I Poligonali", C/O Cisterne Romane, Piazza Matteotti, 05022 Amelia (Tr), Tel: +39-0744-978436.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

100 BC cistern built.
1817 partially restored.

Description

The Cisterne Romane are what the name says: Roman cisterns some 2,100 years old. They are located in the middle of the city Amelia. It is a complex made up of 10 vaults of similar size and intercommunicating, each is 10 m long and between 5 m and 6 m wide. The huge underground once rooms contained some 4,400 m³ of fresh water for the water supply of the Roman town. The water originated from the roofs of the surrounding buildings, as the town was built on a hill.

The ten vaults were connected to various wells in the city with pipes, so the people could collect the water. Some of the wells still exist, on Matteotti Square and in the courtyards of some surrounding noble buildings. The wells are dry now, because the cistern is dry, but they were used until the mid 20th century. Some elderly people still remember the cisterns in use, how they carried their bucket full of water home. So the system was in use for more than 2,000 years!

The system is elaborately designed, intended to work with a minimum of energy and repairs. The water was flowing by gravity, the cisterns were sealed with waterproof cement, dirt was collected and removed. There was a dam which allowed to empty the structure for maintenance works, which happened actually very rarely. A brick in the floor is stamped with the name of the builder, Caius Atilus Fortunatus.