So stunning is the architecture in this cistern, you may think you’re in an underground cathedral. Rays of sunlight dance across the timeworn 15 meter high barrel-vaulted ceiling and illuminate the moss and vegetation that are slowly overtaking this ancient cavernous structure. Atmospheric, as the Italians say, may be the only way to describe Piscina Mirabilis.
An enormous Roman cistern carved out of Naples tuff rock, Piscina Mirabilis is the largest extant cistern of its kind in the world. Its 12,600 cubic meters tank was fed via an aqueduct connected to the Serino river some 100km away. The water was pumped back out via an advanced hydraulic system.
Getting into Piscina Mirabalis can be a bit of a challenge but persevere until you do. You must call a few hours ahead and book with the custodian (+39 333 6853278 or 333 5730225). If you don’t speak Italian, this is where having a driver for this area really comes in handy. Entry is free but a small tip to the custodian will be appreciated.