Rome: Water Corporations?

The Water Seller’s Corporation grew in power as water was not only drawn from the Tiber, but also from the wells and few fountains that existed. The water corporations also have many bloody conflicts, as they tried to become the premier corporation. There is even a traditional procession from St. John Lutheran to St. Mary Major on August 15th marking a bloody clash. A law was then declared that if any one was caught fighting they would be fined. However, as Gregory XIII came to power, and flooded Rome with fountains, the Water Corporations should cease to exist.

However, the sellers did continue to survive in the court, a chancellor states, "the custom of selling water continued until the days of Sixtus V" (1590), whereas formerly "in Rome, water from the Tiber, or from private wells or fountains, was carried around to the houses on donkeys after drawing it from the cisterns where the Tiber water had been cleansed. Right up to today [1840], the papal water seller used mules with barrels on each side to carry water on the flights of steps leading to the Vatican palace. In the same way, he would go to the Quirinale for water from the Trevi in order to deliver it to the pantries and papal kitchens and to the pope's chief ministers". This statement explains how water was moved.

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