Acquedotto Medievale di Salerno

Aqueduct in Salerno

Acquedotto Medievale Di Salerno
CC BY-SA 3.0 / M2m

The Medieval Aqueduct of Salerno, often referred to as the Devil’s Bridges, stands as an iconic symbol and a marvel of medieval engineering. Constructed in the 10th century by Benedictine monks, this aqueduct crosses Via Arce, serving as a conduit that transported water from the northern hills to the Monastery of San Benedetto. Rich in folklore, the aqueduct is fondly known as “the Devil’s Bridges” due to the captivating legends surrounding it.

The aqueduct, colloquially called the “Devil’s Bridge,” earned its mysterious reputation from a legend that emerged in the 12th century. According to local lore, the renowned Salerno magician Pietro Barliario, aided by supernatural forces, constructed this marvel overnight. Superstitions led to tales that passing beneath the arches between dusk and dawn could result in encounters with devils or malevolent spirits.

This legend is rooted in the unique topography of the aqueduct’s location. Until the early 20th century, the area remained largely inaccessible, with the Rafastia stream flowing beneath the road surface and no houses nearby, nestled close to the towering city walls. The pointed arch, an architectural innovation of the time, likely added an element of awe and fear, contributing to the mystical aura surrounding the aqueduct.

Another captivating tale woven into the arches claims that the four founders of the Salerno Medical School serendipitously met beneath the aqueduct on a stormy night. Adela, representing the Arab influence, Ponto from Greece, Elino, a Jewish figure, and Salerno, symbolizing the local essence, allegedly converged in a moment that reflected Salerno’s role as a bustling crossroads of diverse peoples, religions, and cultures during that era.

The Acquedotto Medievale di Salerno appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Salerno!

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Visiting Acquedotto Medievale di Salerno


24 Hours



Address: Acquedotto medievale di Salerno, Via Fiera Vecchia, Salerno, SA, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes

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