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13/50.- Umbria, Orvieto, Pozzo

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Besides food, the other indispensable resource for a city to sustain a siege is water. The Etruscans had already dug several wells with primitive but clever means (the wells were narrow enough for diggers to insert their feet in rests gouged out of one wall, and rest their backs against the opposite wall), but in later times, these narrow wells were extended and perfected to meet the increasing needs for water of a growing city. The 16th-century Pozzo de San Patrizio shown here features a double helicoidal staircase allowing barrel-carrying mules to walk down to the well and climb back up without ever getting into each other’s way.

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