The Water Cathedral
The 15-metre-high arches, supported by 48 pillars that divide the space into five naves, have earned it the nickname ‘Water Cathedral'. It feels like being in an underground church, where the silence interrupted only by your thundering footsteps takes on an almost sacred echo. The Piscina Mirabilis in Bacoli, on the outskirts of Naples, is a masterpiece of engineering.
This huge cistern, comparable in size only to the one in Istanbul, was built in the time of Augustus to supply water to the area and could hold up to 12,600 cubic metres of water.
Emptied and disused, the Piscina Mirabilis became one of the main stops on the Grand Tour in the 18th century and enchanted the likes of Mozart, Dumas and Goethe. Take a walk between its pillars, 70 metres long and 25.5 metres wide, and marvel at its grandeur.