Located on the site of the ancient Fontana di Pescaia, Museo dell’Acqua shows visitors the network of underground waterways the Sienese people built in the Middle Ages in order to supply the city with water. It is known the geographical location of the city was a strategic defense advantage for the locals, but, on the other hand, it made water a scarce resource difficult to bring to the people. Hence, the necessity to build a vast system of aqueducts, currently one of the vastest medieval heritage of Siena.
Museo dell’Acqua opened no sooner than 27 January 2010, which makes it one of the newest museums in Siena. The opening was preceded by long restoration works conducted by a team of architects (the so-called Social Design of Roberto Santini, Goffredo Serrini and Claudio Zagaglia) and engineers, with the help of La Diana (a local association) and of Studio Azzuro (lead by Leonardo Sangiorgi of Milan and Mizar di Paco Lanciano of Rome).
Visitors can learn about the city’s water system (more than 25 kilometers in length), called bottini in Italian, its history (historians estimate its construction started in the 11th century, only to be completed 3 centuries after) and engineering details and technicalities meant to demonstrate the genius behind the minds who designed the system.
The Water Museum can be visited only after the submission and approval of an application to the Municipality of Siena. Guided visits are for groups of maximum 15 people, but documents must be acquired in time (submitting the application, paying the ticket to the Treasury of Siena). Visits are organized and managed by the staff of La Diana association (the association in charge with preserving and promoting on a tourist level the water system of Siena, including fountains and sources).
The table below lists all information on the address of Museo dell’Acqua. If you prefer an advantageous offer, you can pay an all-inclusive ticket which allows you to visit the museum, Fonte delle Monache and the waterway system itself (the bottini) much cheaper than if you chose to pay separately. The applications you need to fill in in order to submit to the Commune of Siena are available online. Opening hours and ticket prices are subject to modification, so you are redirected to the official website of the museum in order to keep posted with the updated information.
Originally built in the 13th century, the Basilica of Santa Maria dei Servi underwent reconstruction and restoration works until the 16th century.
Dating back to the late-15th century, Basilica dell’Osservanza from Siena was restored in the early-20th century and completely restored following WWII
Opened no sooner than 2010, the Water Museum in Siena occasions visitors the opportunity to learn about the city’s ancient underground waterways history