This Roman Aqueduct From 19 B.C. Is Hidden in an Italian Department Store — Where to Find It

Head down the escalator...

La Rinascente
La Rinascente. Photo:

NurPhoto/Contributor/Getty Images

While traversing the city of Rome, it goes without saying that historical landmarks are everywhere — even in the basement of a department store.

“Rome is a lasagna. We build layer on layer so we have to build around our ancient city,” luxury travel advisor Mitra Talarman explained in an Instagram video of one of the city's coolest attractions: an aqueduct in the basement of high-end shopping center, La Rinascente.

In the video, Talarman takes viewers through the department store, down its escalator, into its basement, and there it is: the still-functioning aqueduct.

"This is still the main aqueduct that still pumps water from the Spanish Steps to the Vatican City and you can come and visit for free," she said.

As a portion of the famed Aqua Virgo aqueduct, according to La Rinascente's website, the piece of history is from 19 B.C. and is in a space of the shopping center "dedicated to events, exhibitions and design."

Currently the video has over 10,000 likes, and plenty of comments of viewers learning something new about the city.

"My friend took us to see this when we visited Rome in 2018. Quite interesting", said one comment.

La Rinacente is about a 3-minute walk from the Trevi Fountain.

So next time you're in the Eternal City, and the crowds around the famed fountain are a bit too much, head to the La Rinascente, take a coin, turn around, and throw it over your shoulder to make a wish. With water this special, it’s bound to come true. 

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