Ruins of the Vergine Aqueduct, one of the most important in ancient Rome, have been discovered under the former Rinascente building off Via del Corso, now the home of Spanish retail giant Zara.
Archaeologists came across the aqueduct under the intersection of Via del Tritone as excavations began to enlarge the retail premises. However the expansion plan – scheduled to take two and a half years – continues, with the intention of opening a larger store in 2015.
Plans are in place to preserve the ruins and make them visible to visitors, similar to other archaeological discoveries under the capital's shops such as the Ikea store at Anagnina.
The Vergine aqueduct is one of the several built to serve ancient Rome with pure drinking water. The name derives from the name of its predecessor, Aqua Virgo, constructed by Marcus Agrippa in 19 BC to serve the Campo Marzio district. In 1453 Pope Nicholas V renovated and expanded the Aqua Virgo to enhance the city’s drinking water supply during the Renaissance.
Zara opened for business in the restored Palazzo Bocconi in time for the Christmas shopping season in 2010. The five-floor flagship store became the firm's third outlet in Rome after its other nearby locations in Largo Goldoni and Galleria Alberto Sordi.