As a child, two of my favourite books were a collection of Greek myths, mainly from the Iliad and the Odyssey, and a biography of Alexander the Great; both a love for books and a curiosity for the past have stayed with me since. I was lucky to grow up in Italy first, then in Belgium, and when I made the leap across the Channel to study History at Cambridge I already saw myself as a European citizen. My fascination for the philosophes of the Enlightenment initially lured me towards the eighteenth century, but a combination of chance and opportunity led me to focus on the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries instead. As I researched the history of a Florentine family relocating to South Germany in the midst of the Thirty Years’ War for my Master’s, I found in the past some parallels with my own experience of transnational movement. For my PhD I will cross not just national but also disciplinary boundaries, investigating the uses of hydraulic knowledge and expertise across three early modern cities, Florence, Augsburg, and Amsterdam. Retracing the careers of hydraulic experts responsible for monumental fountains and mundane sewage systems alike, my work will be at the crossroads between the history of science, art history, and environmental history. In particular, I intend to contribute to the field of water history, which has very concrete implications for the present, and for ensuring that we can continue to hold water in shared and sustainable possession with fellow humans.