Aqueduct of Nottolini

Aqueduct in Lucca

Aqueduct Nottolini Guamo Lucca
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Myrabella

The Aqueduct of Nottolini is an impressive Neoclassical-style structure located near Lucca in Tuscany, Italy. Built in the 19th century, the aqueduct’s primary purpose was to bring water to Lucca from the mountains situated south of the city. The aqueduct spans over 3 kilometers and consists of more than 400 arches, supporting a stone channel for the water.

Although the arches of the aqueduct are sometimes mistaken for those of an ancient Roman aqueduct, it was, in fact, constructed in the early 19th century by the architect Lorenzo Nottolini. The project was initiated in 1823 under the rule of Maria Luisa of Spain, Duchess of Lucca, and completed in 1851. It involved the conveyance of water from various springs on the slopes of Monte di Vorno through rocky channels to a domed circular stone temple-cistern located near San Quirico in the frazione of Guamo.

From the San Quirico cistern, the water was then channeled through covered stone conduits to the temple-tank of San Concordio, located just outside the fortified walls of Lucca. These arches, primarily constructed with bricks, showcased the impressive engineering of the era.

The water was further directed into the city through metal pipes, feeding numerous fountains, including the circular fountain in Piazza Antelminelli next to Lucca Cathedral. In its early days, the flow of water in the aqueduct was controlled entirely by gravity, while the final iron conduits allowed for the expansion and contraction of the metal.

The aqueduct’s operation continued smoothly until the construction of the east-west autostrada A11, commissioned by Benito Mussolini’s government in the late 1920s to early 1930s. This autostrada interrupted the aqueduct’s path, marking a significant moment in its history.

The Aqueduct of Nottolini stands as a remarkable testament to engineering ingenuity and serves as a reminder of Lucca’s water supply history, even with its interrupted path by the autostrada.

The Aqueduct of Nottolini appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Lucca!

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Visiting Aqueduct of Nottolini

Address: Aqueduct of Nottolini, Lucca, Via Tempietto, Lucca, Province of Lucca, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes

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