Aquae Urbis Romae: the Waters of the City of Rome

Inscriptions that commemorate historic floodings of the Tiber River in Rome


A flood marker (Targa dell'inondazione) records the high water mark of a specific historic flood event. Nearly one hundred flood markers still exist in Rome. Here are two examples: one that records the 1277 flood, and the other that records the 1422 flood. To see flood markers that commemorate later floods, click here: 1495, 1530, 1557, 1598, 1647, 1660, 1805, 1846, 1858, 1870, 1878, 1900, 1915, and 1937.

We will be adding images of these flood markers, along with co-ordinates and levels as they become available.

Flood of 6 November 1277: 15.88 meters above sea level (unique example)

This flood marker was originally located on the facade of theChurch of SS Celso e Giuliano, Rome. It was moved to L'Arco di Banchi during the sixteenth century. (K. Rinne, 2001)


Flood of 1422: 17.22 meters above sea level (unique surviving example)

"Dell'Anno Domini 1422 die 30 Novembre, in festo Sancti Andreae, si fu una piena d'acqua si grande, che allago` la maggior parte di Roma, et fece grandissimo danno, et tanto che non se potia contare, et di questo ne fu cascione Braccio da Montone, perche' partendosi molto scorrucciato di Roma quando perde' lo Stato di Roma ruppe la marmore dello laco de Pedeluco et questo fece per dispetto delli Romani; et di questa pur ne resta la memoria in una preta nella faccia della ecclesia della Minerva". Stefano Infessura, Diario, 76.

Flood Marker: Facade of the Church of S Maria sopra Minerva, Rome. (K. Rinne, 2001)


There were also historic level floods in 1230, 1379, 1476, 1589, and 1606 as well as numerous floods reported during antiquity and the Medieval period for which there are no surviving markers.


Aquae Urbis Romae: the Waters of the City of Rome

Copyright, Katherine W. Rinne, 2006.