The Cistern

A large cistern from the Roman Imperial period is situated in the heart of the village. It is a monumental underground hydraulic work with strong walls and massive support from the houses and the overlying alleys. It is the second largest in Italy and can be visited. It is also called the Underground Basilica. It is 65 meters long and 25 wide, with more than 60 large pillars six and a half meters high. Built in the first century BC to an aqueduct, it was located on a summit and collected water from the nearby hills through an ingenious plumbing system. The water intake was through fistulae located in the cistern ceiling governed by two bronze valves in the form of “bronze lions”.

From the cistern water then came to public buildings (baths, fountains, nymphs) and private (residences, workshops, commercial facilities) of lowland towns.

 

Guides:
Guide of Formia

Guide of Formia

Formia dates back to pre-Roman population of the Aurunci and its history is also linked to the myth of Ulysses. […]