The water clock in the gardens of the Passeggiata del Pincio in Villa Borghese has been restored to full working order after decades of inactivity and was inaugurated by Rome mayor Walter Veltroni on 29 June.

The timepiece is the result of the work of two men: Father Giovan Battista Embriaco, a Dominican priest and scientist (1829-1903), and the Swiss-Italian architect Gioacchino Ersoch (1815-1902). Apart from teaching physics and mathematics, Embriaco had the hobby of constructing mechanical water clocks (see box) in which the continuous emptying and filling of containers at the ends of a balanced arm produced the rocking motion which took the place of the traditional pendulum by moving a notched wheel at regular intervals. He exhibited two of these at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1867 with great success. One of his models is still in working order in the courtyard of the Muti Berardi Cesi palace in Via del Ges