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Explore the Hidden Ruins of Vicus Caprarius Beneath Rome’s Trevi Fountain

The tub of Vicus Caprarius, the City of Water with the structures of an imperial era domus, the path of the Virgin Aqueduct and the suggestive finds, found near the Trevi Fountain Rome Italy.

A city as illustrious and ancient as Rome is bound to have a few hidden ruins. In the late 1990s, a team of archaeologists unearthed an ancient Roman apartment complex surrounded by stately pools that was located underground in close proximity to Rome’s magnificent Trevi Fountain. When the site was discovered, the most exciting revelation was that there were subterranean pools fed by Aqua Virgo—which is the same aqueduct that supplies water to the Trevi Fountain.

The archaeological site was christened Vicus Caprarius, or “City of Water.” Archaeologists determined that—in addition to serving as an apartment complex that functioned as a small neighborhood—Vicus Caprarius also served as a posh single-family dwelling that was heavily damaged when the Vandals attacked Rome in 455. After the fall of Rome in 476, Vicus Caprarius fell into disrepair and was forgotten for many centuries.

Visitors can descend down a 30-foot staircase to tour the ruins of Vicus Caprarius and view artifacts in a small museum. African pottery used to transport food and wine, ornate Greek statues, and Roman coins that have been recovered from the site are all on display. The pristine pools of Vicus Caprarius—which are still supplied with water from the ancient Aqua Virgo aqueduct—are also on display.

An impressive number of Vicus Caprarius’ stone archways and walls remain intact. Visitors can view portions of the complex that were renovated during different centuries. If you’re curious about what an ancient Roman neighborhood looked like, Vicus Caprarius is an excellent place to take a stroll into the past.

If you find yourself overwhelmed by the large crowds at Trevi Fountain, consider taking a small detour to explore the quiet halls of Vicus Caprarius. Most people admiring the Baroque beauty of Trevi Fountain are unaware that the pools of Vicus Caprarius lie beneath their feet.

25 Vicolo del Puttarello
Rome, 00187

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