Visit the Roman Aquaducts
Excerpt from the book On a Tall Budget and Short Attention Span from the Teresa the Traveler Series.
After visiting the cave, I had some time left in the day so I decided to make my way over to Fontaine De Vacluse, a small picturesque town with a fountain in the mountain. Hey, that rhymes!
Along the highway I passed under a huge ancient bridge with arches. Upon further inspection I discovered it was one of the many Roman aqueducts built throughout Europe to supply water to cities and industrial sites. Considered amongst the greatest engineering feats of the ancient world, they are still used in many cities today although the open channels have been replaced with pipes. Rome, of course, had the largest concentration of aqueducts with eleven built over a period of 500 years to feed the booming city. Not only did they supply potable water to the numerous baths and fountains throughout the city they also used the gray water to move waste matter through the sewers.
So important were these aqueducts for sustaining life in the cities, that when the Roman Empire fell and the ducts were either destroyed by enemies or left to deteriorate from a lack of maintenance, the population of Rome dropped from one million in ancient times to a low of 30,000 during the medieval period.
At the height of the Roman Empire, water for nearly 200 cities was being supplied by an intricate system of aqueducts, a feat that far surpassed the capability of any civilization before or after for another 2000 years. In fact, the ancient water system was capable of delivering up to 1 cubic meter of water per person, more than what is commonly available in most modern cities.