Around Borgo Rivera
Borgo Rivera is located in the extreme southern outskirts of the historic city but is still within the fourteenth-century city wall that surrounds it. It is one of the places in L’Aquila where the depth of history is most evident. A history whose common thread is the richness of water: the water of the Aterno river, which, flowing just outside the walls, irrigated gardens and operated the wheels of the mills; and the water of the many local springs, used by the wool and leather workshops, which promoted the opulence of the medieval city. The Walls form the ancient circle of the city and represent the border of its historic centre. Building started in the XIII century and a good part is still conserved today. The walls have more or less maintained their original shape despite numerous modifications due to collapses caused by frequent earthquakes and by urban demolition. They extend for more than 5.5 km encompassing an area of about 157 designed to contain tens of thousands of inhabitants. Still today the walls form a clear demarcation between the rural environment and the urban one, which come into contact through Porta Rivera, with entrance on via Tancredi da Pentima. The Gate is the access to Borgo Rivera, but also to a world of ancient memories. To the right of the entrance is the famous Fontana delle 99 cannelle (Fountain of the 99 water spouts). To the left of the Gate is the Church of San Vito alla Rivera, also known as San Vito di Tornimparte, because it owes its construction, in the thirteenth century, to the inhabitants of the castle of Tornimparte. The Romanesque façade, on the other hand, dates back to the fifteenth century. The façade was built in the Romanesque period. The only thing that remains of the original building is the spatial layout since the church, and the entire district, were profoundly modified by some architectural and urban operations, carried out between the 16th century and the 18th century, which also led to the expansion of the Fontana delle 99 Cannelle (Fountain of the 99 spouts). The imposing structure located behind the church was the old slaughterhouse, which has now been restructured to house the Munda, the National Museum of Abruzzo. Going up the Borgo, there is access to the Parco delle Acque (Water Park), a public park equipped with benches and fences made of natural materials, created in a green space, of luxuriant nature, overlooking the Fontana delle 99 Cannelle. It’s an ideal cool place where you can relax under the plants. From the Park there is a spectacular panorama and a natural view of the square of Borgo Rivera, making it a great place to watch the many events that take place within the perimeter of the Fountain. Going up to the top of the Borgo in the direction of the city centre, along the last curve stands the convent of Santa Chiara . The castle of Acculae (“le sorgenti”) once stood in that place. The new city of L’Aquila took its name from this castle. The new city was founded in the mid-thirteenth century by the populations of the suburbs Amiternum and Forcona who were eager to free themselves from the feudal yoke.