The cisterns that had supplied Fermo's fountains and drinking water from nearby hill springs.
At the end of a dead-end alley a large metal door was unlocked and we descended under the town via a set of medieval stairs - all very cloak and dagger! The cisterns which are for all intents and purposes a practical construction are beautiful in their way. Thirty connecting chambers laid out in three rows the perspective along the central row is picturesque. The guide provided us with an excellent potted history of the cisterns - how the Romans had used them, how the monks re-discovered them and used them as for wine production and storage, and how in the late 19th century until 1980 the cisterns were used once again to supply the city's fountains (though not as effectively as the Romans had!)
You have to buy your ticket at the touris information office in Piazza del Popolo, Fermo and the tours are accompanied from there.
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