The Parco degli Acquedotti is probably my favorite park in Rome. Chances are that after visiting, it will be yours too! This vast green area is really easy to reach from the center of Rome – right by the Appia Antica – yet virtually unknown to tourists, so a great place to spend some time away from the crowds you’ll likely encounter in the historic center of town.
Curious to find out more? Continue reading, and I will share everything you should know.
Make sure to also read my post The Best Parks In Rome.
The History Of The Parco Degli Acquedotti
This public park in Rome consists of part of the more expansive Appian Way Regional Park — 240 hectares to be exact. Even though it’s an attractive outdoor space, and with the added bonus of intact Roman ruins to see, it’s a surprisingly lesser visited part of the city.
The name itself comes from the centerpieces of the park: the aqueducts.
This former slice of countryside became a designated green space in 1988 after much campaigning. Formerly, there were many shacks leaned up against one of the aqueducts here, and were referred to as hamlets.
The aqueducts once provided drinking water to the citizens of Rome, brought there from the mountains of east Lazio along these elevated waterways. Some of them could carry two thousand liters of water a second from over 40 miles (almost 65 km) away.
Today the park is a favorite spot for locals to enjoy a breath of fresh air in nature, and to admire the scattered historic sites that can be found here.
You should also read my post A Guide To The Appian Way, Rome’s Via Appia Antica.
What To See And Do In Rome’s Parco Degli Acquedotti
This large green space hosts a collection of interesting attractions for visitors to discover, as well as the chance to spend some time picnicking or being active away from the bustling streets of central Rome.
Being named for its aqueducts, naturally these imposing monuments take center stage. In total there are seven, running both overground and above ground, some ancient, and others dating from the Papal age.
One of the most impressive is the Aqua Claudia. Construction on it began in 38 AD under the rule of Emperor Caligula, but it was Emperor Claudius who completed it in 52 AD, and ultimately who it is named after. It brought water to Rome from two springs, Caeruleus and Curtius, and was ranked among the “four great aqueducts of Rome” alongside the Aqua Anio Novus, Aqua Anio Vetus, and Aqua Marcia.
The Anio Vetus (commissioned in 272 BC) aqueduct also runs through a portion of the park, as does the Anio Novus aqueduct. The latter was also started in 38 AD by Caligula and completed in 52 AD by Claudius.
You can also find the Aqua Marcia in the Parco degli Acquedotti. It’s even older than the Aqua Claudia, being built in 144 BC during the late Republican age of Rome. Running for 90 kilometers (55 miles), it’s the longest of Rome’s aqueducts.
Sadly, some of the Aqua Marcia was removed on the orders of Pope Sixtus V in order to be re-used for his own aqueduct project: the Acqua Felice, in 1586. This was the first aqueduct to be built in Rome for over 13 centuries.
Aside from the aqueducts, there are more archeological sites to be seen. This includes the ruins of the Vignacce Villa, some parts of the Via Latina (an old Roman road), and the remains of the fortified 13th-century Casale di Torrevecchia.
Go for a run
As well as being packed with historical intrigue, the Parco degli Acquedotti is also a popular running route. If you’re keen on jogging or running, and you’re looking for places in Rome to run, then you should definitely take some time to give Parco degli Acquedotti a try.
There are plenty of trails to jog along here, and you can pretty much have the best time ever running alongside ancient aqueducts. It feels safe, too, with families and friends out enjoying time together, picnicking, and playing football especially on weekends.
Head over to my post Where To Go Running In Rome.
Have a picnic
When the sun’s out, it seems that all of Rome comes out to enjoy a picnic. And Parco degli Acquedotti is one of the best places to do just that. Thanks to its slightly out of center location and its large, grassy areas, it never feels overcrowded and you’ll always be able to find somewhere to lay down a rug and relax with good food and views of the ancient aqueducts.
Get away from the crowds
Sometimes Rome can be a hectic, busy place. This is especially true in the festive period around Easter, Carnival, and Christmas — or simply in high season when it feels like you’ve been standing in line all day long for different museums and attractions.
Parco degli Acquedotti is a wonderful place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. It could be a cold day, or a very hot one, but either way, nothing is more of a refreshing break from crowds and lines than a tranquil walk through the grass of this green space — and all backdropped by millennia old monuments.
Check out my post The Best Hidden Gems In Rome.
The exact address of the Parco degli Acquedotti is Via Lemonia, 221, 00174, Rome. But in geographical terms, it’s situated to the southeast of the city center.
How to get there
The park is connected to the rest of the city by the Rome Metro on Line A. You will have to get off at Lucio Sestio, Giulio Agricola, or Subaugusta and walk a few minutes to get to the park.
If you want to take the bus, then you can take routes 559, 590, 650, and 654. To get off at a more northerly green space (also with aqueducts running through it) to extend your walk in nature and history, then you can pay a visit to the Tor Fiscale Park. This is also served by Metro A (alight at Porta Furba) and bus routes 650, 657, 663, 664, and 765.
Make sure to read my posts How To Use Public Transport In Rome and A Guide To Rome Metro.
Guided tours that go to the Parco degli Acquedotti
If you really want to dive deep into Parco degli Acquedotti and learn more about the history involved here, then a guided tour would be a good option.
One of the best tours that goes to the Parco degli Acquedotti is the one by Walks of Italy. I took this tour myself and can attest it’s a great one. You can book it here.
The most popular tour is an e-Bike tour of the Parco degli Acquedotti. It’s a great way to get active and enjoy this unique public park.
For information on e-bike tours, click here.
You could also choose an off-the-beaten-path walking tour, for one thing. A guide will lead you to the most interesting historical sights in the park, showing you the highlights and offering you some fascinating insider information. This particular tour also includes other off-the-beaten-track locations around the city.
For an off the beaten path tour that goes to the Parco degli Acquedotti, click here.
If you’re big into running, then a running tour would be a great idea for you. This combines running with seeing the sights and culture of the Parco degli Acquedotti and is a super fun activity for runners.
For a running tour of the Parco degli Acquedotti, click here.