Piscina Mirabilis

Piscina Mirabile

Useful Information

Location: Via Campi Elisi, 1, 80070 Bacoli NA.
By car: Tangenziale towards Pozzuoli, exit #14 Pozzuoli-Arco Felice, to Bacoli, at Piazza De Gasperi turn off into via Lucullo and then via del Castello. at the lake turn left to the Sacellum of the Augustales. Very few parking possibilities at the site.
By public transport: Subway to Pozzuoli, station Napoli-Montesanto. 100 m to the train station of Ferrovia Cumana, take Napoli-Torregaveta line to Baia stop. Bus to Bacoli.
(40.795460, 14.079992)
Open: All year Fri-Sun guided 10, 12, 14, 15, self guided 11, 13, 16.
Fee: self guided: Adults EUR 4, Children (6-18) EUR 2, Children (0-5) free, Disabled free, Students EUR 2.
guided: Adults EUR 7, Children (6-18) EUR 5, Children (0-5) free, Disabled free, Students EUR 5.
Bacoli Percorsi D'Acqua: Adults EUR 12, Children (6-18) EUR 6, Children (0-5) free, Disabled free, Students EUR 6.
Classification: SubterraneaCistern
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=70 m, W=25.50 m, H=15 m, V=12,000 m³.
Guided tours: self guided: D=30 min.
guided: D=45 min.
Bacoli Percorsi D'Acqua: D=1.5 h.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Piscina Mirabilis, Via Piscina Mirabile, 27, 80070 Bacoli NA.
Ticket office, Via Campi Elisi, 1, 80070 Bacoli NA, Tel: +39-081-3355165. E-mail: E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


4th or 5th century Augustan aqueduct destroyed and Piscina Mirabilis became dry.


Piscina Mirabilis (Admirable Basin) has nothing to do with a swimming pool, although piscina is the modern Italian name for a swimming pool. It is a huge water reservoir, entirely dug underground into a tufa bank. It was built during the Augustan age, to be the terminal outlet of the Serino aqueduct.

The huge chamber is 70 m long and 25.5 m wide, and the 15 m high ceiling is supported by 48 pilasters arranged in four rows. With a capacity of about 12,600 m² it was a precious water reserve for the Roman fleet at Miseno.

The aqueduct is another monument to the engineering capabilities of the Romans. Despite the technical and organizational problem of excavating such a big chamber, there is the problem of stability. For this reason the floor and walls were lined with a thick layer of pounded terracotta. This is an excellent hydraulic cement for lining cisterns and used to the present days.

The water was calcareous, which resulted in a thick crust of limestone or travertine covering the floor and walls.

Emperor Augustus decided in the first years of his empire, to move the Tyrrhenian Roman fleet from Sinus Formianus to the Miseno. This was not easy, as there was the need for infrastructure and first a 100 km long aqueduct was needed to redirect the water of the Serino spring to the city. Then a cistern was needed for times when the demand was very high, the aqueduct was broken, or the river empty. After all the water was used to fill the tanks of the ships of the Roman fleet, in other words there might be the need to produce an enormous amount of water in a short time. When the Serino aqueduct and the Piscina Mirabilis were completed, Nero was emperor. And finally in 62 AD, 200 ships of the Classis Misenensis, the most important fleet of the Roman Empire, were relocated from Sinus Formianus to the Miseno territory, they were destroyed on sea by a massive storm.

The site now has a ticketr office which is a little down the road. There are tours on the full hour, some are guided, others are self-guided. Also, they offer a tour which is called Bacoli Percorsi D'Acqua, which explains the water supply system of the ancient Roman city, the cistern is only one stop on this tour.