The roman aqueduct of Formina
Tunnels, corridors, wells and bridges - structures built for the construction of the Formina aqueduct, one of the most important hydraulic engineering works of the Roman era in southern Umbria. The infrastructure, probably begun at the end of the 1st century BC and completed in 27 A.D. it ensured the water supply to the city of Narni until the early decades of the twentieth century. Through a path of about 13 km and a constant slope, the aqueduct conveyed the waters of seven springs, starting from that of the Origin - near Sant'Urbano - up to the city center of Narni, where it was located (at intersection between via Cocceio Nerva and via del Monte) the distribution tank. To get the water to the city, it was necessary to excavate three tunnels and build four bridges, of which the original Roman ones remain the Cardona Bridge - declared the center of Italy by the Military Geographical Institute - and the Ponte Vecchio. The work complex also included a set of tunnels and corridors, part of which are in the underground of Narni and over fifty wells. A section of the Formina has been made accessible to the public, a unique opportunity to explore a Roman aqueduct: accompanied by expert guides, it is possible to enter the underground gallery of Monte Ippolito and walk along it for its entire extension (700 m.) admiring the marvelous stalactites up to reach a well 18 meters deep and then rise to the surface via a steep spiral staircase carved into the rock. But there is also the opportunity to have another captivating experience, all in the open. In fact, the path that recovers the route opened by the Romans allows you to see some vestiges of the aqueduct, including the bridges. It starts from near the church of Santa Margherita - within the city walls - and crossing a splendid Umbrian landscape, you arrive at the source of Sant’Urbano, from which you can easily reach the Sacro Speco di San Francesco.