Medici Aqueduct of Asciano
The project for an aqueduct capable of supplying the city of Pisa with the benevolent water of the Pisan Mountains was ordered by Cosimo I de’ Medici. Credit must go to Grand Duke Ferdinando I, however, for the construction of the long aqueduct that from Bottino di San Rocco in the Fonti valley reaches the walls of Pisa.
Begun in 1592 on a design by architect Raffaello di Zanobi di Pagno, who was succeeded by Andrea Sandrini from Siena, it had more than 900 arches and wound along a course of 6 kilometres. In the 1597 treatise, Dei Bagni di Pisa, famous physician Girolamo Mercuriale considered the aqueduct of Asciano to be among «the almost divine works of Ferdinando I». The Lorraine engraver Jacques Callot depicted the Visita di Ferdinando I ad Asciano in an engraving done in the second decade of the 17th century, documenting the Grand Duke’s direct interest in the works.
Today, the aqueduct stands out in the countryside between Asciano and Pisa, and along many tracts has a picturesque route for walks and cycling.
Texts by Alessandro Tosi
English translation by Victor Beard
Last update 14/gen/2008