One of the oldest and largest in the world
Among the oldest and largest in the world, the Roman Cisterns of Fermo were built between the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD.
Also called “purifying pools” and located under the buildings occupying the eastern side of Piazza del Popolo, they were built to redistribute rainwater. To be able to distribute it as far as possible, three reservoirs were built on Girfalco Park. They can now be found at what is currently Largo Temistocle Calzecchi Onesti and in Via degli Aceti.
The first room, traditionally referred to as the Cistern, cannot be visited because it is completely underground. However, excavations in 1927 outlined four barrel-vaulted, non-communicating brick rooms that are very similar to large cisterns.
The second is known by the name of “small cisterns”, precisely because of its size, which is much smaller than the one located on Via degli Aceti.
A visit into the large cisterns begins at their late-medieval entrance on Via degli Aceti, with its characteristic brick pavement. The ancient Roman and medieval entrances are walled up and visible only from the inside. Descending, visitors enter a priceless heritage of architectural elegance, where the design of the spaces is astounding. In fact, an enormous rectangular pool, measuring about 65 x 30 metres, stands out. It is divided into thirty rooms in three parallel rows. The rectangular chambers, measuring 9 x 6 metres, are also surmounted by barrel vaults, lined with cement material dating from Roman times. Each of them is connected to the others by rounded arches. The slope of the floors bears witness to the constant distribution of water that, after being collected in the catchment wells, flowed from the tunnels, passing from one room to another.
The area had a maximum capacity of about 15,000 cubic metres. The large cisterns performed the indispensable function of drinking water reservoir to supply the people of Fermo. Over time, some historians have speculated that it was also used for naval equipment.
Among the oldest and largest in the world, the Roman Cisterns of Fermo were built between the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD....Read more
The large underground complex was built based on initial instructions given by Vitruvius. The work, which is almost completely intact, features the original construction materials...Read more