Piscina Mirabilis

Bacoli, Italy

The Piscina Mirabilis was a freshwater cistern on the Bacoli cliff at the western end of the Gulf of Naples. One of the largest freshwater cisterns built by the ancient Romans, it was situated there in order to provide the Roman western imperial fleet at Portus Julius with drinking water.

The cistern was dug entirely out of the tuff cliff face and was 15 metres high, 72 metres long, and 25 metres wide. It was supported by vaulted ceilings and a total of 48 pillars. It was supplied with water from the main Roman aqueduct, the Aqua Augusta, which brought water from sources in Serino near Avellino, 100 kilometres distant, to Naples.

The ancient cistern is currently in private hands, but parts of it may still be visited by the public.



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Founded: 27 BCE - 14 AD
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Italy

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Alessio Guarino (11 months ago)
A location that leaves you breathless, like a cathedral that has been deserted for centuries. Built in the Augustan age in Miseno, on the north-west side of the Gulf of Naples, it was originally a drinking water cistern
Jasmin Bruchmann (19 months ago)
They were really nice. Our class came the wrong day but they still let us in.
Claire Wood (20 months ago)
The site is wonderful, if you can get in. Trying to book an appointment is quite ridiculous as the key is held by a private individual. We called her (she only speaks Italian btw) on Friday and asked if we could visit, we were told it was probably ok but we should call back on Saturday. On Saturday we were told to drive to Bacoli and call from the main square at 12 the next day. When we called on Sunday, we were finally given the instructions of where to meet. As it turned out, the time we'd been given coincided with a large Italian group, which is probably the only reason we were allowed to visit. I've spoken to a lot of people who have tried to book a visit but we're told that only groups are allowed in, which is really sad. The site should be opened to the public at fixed times, even if it's just a couple of times a week instead being held hostage in this way.
Edgar Bordier (20 months ago)
Two thousand years and still intact. Learn some Italian to talk to the owner and book a visit.
Bruno Antonio De Santis (2 years ago)
Amazing place to visit. Even if it's managed by private, it's free to visit.
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