The Uphill-Downhill Road of Ariccia – Albano Laziale, Italy - Atlas Obscura

The Uphill-Downhill Road of Ariccia

Things seem to roll, flow and run uphill on this short patch of road near Ariccia, Italy.  


Just outside of Rome, one can find respite from the smog, and traffic of the big city among them fresh air, beautiful surroundings, wonderful food and a road that seems to run in reverse.

Known as an anti-gravity hill, this curious spot is popular in Rome and Italian national TV reported about it. As with other ‘anti-gravity hills’ It looks like a normal street in the woods with a gentle slope, but if you pour water or put a ball on the pavement it seems to go uphill! When one walks on the hill one “can clearly feel that going uphill is much easier than going downhill.” This of course should be a dead giveaway that something is amiss. If a blind man walked on this hill he would find it no stranger than any other hill, which in regards to gravity, it isn’t.

Like other gravity hills throughout the world, the same explanations are generally given: a deviation in gravity, magnetic effects caused by huge underground metal deposits, and in this case volcanic activity in ancient times. There is however only one true cause, one which only affects those with sight. The effect is caused by the peculiar series of uphill and downhill stretches in which there is scarce or no view of the horizon. If one lays a level on the hill is shows that things are going downhill indeed…

However it seems that even computers can get it wrong. Recently it has been pointed out that according to Google Maps the height of a succession of points on the road shows that according to Google things are indeed going uphill in defiance of gravity.

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March 4, 2010

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