WIT Press

Bolla Aqueduct; A Two-thousand-year Lasting Service


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WIT Press


M. Rasulo


This study aims to show the importance that Bolls aqueduct has held for over two millenniums for the city of Naples, its present role and the uses for which it could still be destined. Bolls has been the first aqueduct for Naples, built in ancient times (Hellenistic or Roman, the dating problem has not been solved yet), and it has provided Naples with drinkable water for most of the city’s millennial life, being for most of its history its main water resource. In fact in Romans times Serino aqueduct (known as Claudius’, as it was restored by Claudius emperor) brought a little contribution to it, but it was dismissed in High Middle age. Moreover the water of Bolls’s source, which originally fed the aqueduct and which has mainly kept feeding it for centuries, was considered of a quality certainly superior than the other local water sources and than the waters of the next Carrnignano aqueduct. To satisfy Naples’ chronic need of water, in fact, in 1629 Carmignano aqueduct was added to Bolls, but they were both open-channelled aqueducts, which produced a lot of defiling of the waters and epidemics. Only in latest ‘800, as many other European cities and due to the new technologies, it was possible to construct the first pressure aqueduct for Naples, the new Serino aqueduct of 1882, which replaced the two previous ones. It seemed that the long Bolls service had ended, but in the ’30s some Neapolitan industries recovered its waters, and lately, thank to the restoration of one of its channels, it has been destined to some industrial uses for Neapolitan hinterland.