The Water Clock of Villa Borghese

Jan 12, 2022 111

BY: Silvia Donati

Among the many marvels of Villa Borghese in Rome is a water clock few may be aware of.  To admire it in all its beauty and engineering prowess, you have to look for it, surrounded as it is by thick vegetation. Placed in a small turret on an islet within one of the many ponds that dot Rome’s most famous park, the clock is located along the aptly-named Viale dell’Orologio, not far from the panoramic terrace of the Pincio, with its stunning view over Piazza del Popolo below. 

After years of neglect, the extraordinary water clock hidden among the luxuriant nature of Villa Borghese returned to mark the time last summer. The water clock is precisely a hydro-chronometer built according to the design of Dominican friar Giovanni Battista Embriaco in 1867 and installed in 1873, as part of a fountain designed by architect Gioacchino Ersoch. 

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