Photographer's Note

Rieti underground

Not all of the underground Rieti complex, today entirely privately owned, can be visited.
The currently visible route begins just after the modern bridge, in Via del Porto, so called because the waters of the Velino once reached it and there was a small harbor. Now the street level has risen, but the large arches of the docks are still visible, which offered shelter to boats. Access to the first section of the underground rooms is precisely through one of these arches.
From here you enter a real underground city, with streets, shops, fountains. The environments that you cross to reach the arches of the Viaduct are medieval and, over time, have been used for various purposes. A mighty pylon of the viaduct is visible, formed by large boulders and a preserved archway for a width of 5.40 m, a height of 3.40 m and a depth of 7.10 m.
We then reach Vicolo Coarone and the basement of the Vecchiarelli palace. The building was designed by the architect Carlo Maderno, who also rearranged the underground areas.
The connection with the upper rooms was made via a helical staircase, designed by architect Francesco Borromini, Maderno's nephew.
Going along the Coarone alley, you come to a large room, vaulted in a barrel, where you can see the "sound sculptures" of the artist Immacolata Datti.
The first part of the itinerary ends in the internal courtyard of Palazzo Vecchiarelli, a scenographic environment with excellent acoustics and adorned with a fantastic fountain.

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Additional Photos by Silvio Sorcini (Silvio1953) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 18948 W: 130 N: 40021] (213671)
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