Il Botte di Monte Cavallo


Il Botte di Monte Cavallo


Once the Acqua Felice had reached the Quirinal in 1587, the Pope extended his influence and his gift of water to Rome’s other hills, leaving his mark across Rome’s changing urban landscape. At the highest point on the edge of the Quirinal Hill sat the Botte di Monte Cavallo, a castellum for water redirected to the Capitoline Hill. It was completed from 1585 to 1587 by Giacomo della Porta, and once located within the Scuderie, or stables, of the Palazzo Quirinale. The distribution tank, located 49 meters above sea level, made use of its altitude, as water would then travel in a siphon across the valley between the Quirinal and Capitoline Hills. "Rectangular" in shape, as Carlo Fontana described it in 1696, this castellum distributed water less evenly than a typical circular one. When this water from the Acqua Felice reached the Capitoline in 1588, providing water to the area for the first time in thirteen hundred years, Sixtus V eagerly commissioned various water features across the hill to celebrate his great engineering feat, a victory for himself and the people of Rome.


Giacomo Della Porta


Rinne, Katherine Wentworth. "Aquae Urbis Romae." Waters of Rome.


Sixtus V




Distribution Tank


Rome, Italy


Giacomo Della Porta, “Il Botte di Monte Cavallo,” Italian Baroque Art, accessed January 24, 2021,