Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Chronicles from Rome | My 5 Favorite Fountains in the Eternal City

Rome has fifty monumental fountains and hundreds of smaller fountains, bringing freshness to the streets and squares and water to its inhabitants and visitors. With over 2000 fountains in all, the Eternal City has more fountains than any other city in the world. Today I'll bring you just a hand full of my favorite ones, conscient that this is an unfinished work.


The Fontana di Trevi is perhaps one of the most emblematic and well-known fountains of Rome. Who has not seen the scene of the movie La Dolce Vita by Fellini, in which Anita Ekberg enters the fountain and invites Marcello Mastroianni to follow her?

Despite its grandeur and drama, the Trevi Fountain sits on a relatively small square (actually it is the crossroads of three streets (tre vie)!), where almost all the tourists who want to visit it hardly fit. In spite of the turmoil, of the policemen who whistle when one approaches too much of the water and the queues to take a photo or to throw a coin in the basin, the fountain is splendid, with its tritons and sea horses, that seem to want to jump from the basin, ready to gallop ahead!


The Fontana delle Tartarughe it's a beautiful fountain, in a quiet little square (Piazza Mattei). It has a curious history since it was not built in the place where it had initially been planned. On the other hand, the turtles that give it its name are not part of the initial design and were added decades later, during a restoration.


Located in Piazza Navona, it represents the four main continents of the world and the great rivers that cross them: the Nile River in Africa, the Ganges River in Asia, the Danube River in Europe and the Rio de la Plata in America (the It has not been discovered!).

The lively Piazza Navona is one of the most well-known squares of Rome and it has a rectangular shape since it was originally a Roman stadium. Over time, the houses were built on the benches, and by the end of the fifteenth century it was characterized as a square. In the seventeenth century, the Fontana dei Quattro Fiume was built, following the Bernini project, in the center of the square and today it is one of its main focuses of attention.


The Fontana del Pantheon can be found in Piazza della Rotonda, in front of the Pantheon. This is another beautiful fountain, from the last quartile of the 16th century, surmounted by an obelisk, which refreshes and fills with its crystalline sound this busy square.

The Piazza della Rotonda is one of Rome's busiest places, either during the day or at night, when its restaurants and terraces fill with visitors. The fountain is a central motive of attraction, only losing prominence for the imposing Pantheon that, after having been built by Agrippa, was, after its destruction, ordered to be rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian, in order to erect a temple to all the gods, both from Rome and from the conquered territories.


The Fontana della Barcaccia is a singular fountain situated at Piazza di Spagna close to the Spanish Steps. The fountain was built with the shape of a half-sunken ship with water overflowing its sides into a small basin. Its unusual shape is probably due to an old legend that may have inspired Bernini to whom the design of the fountain was commissioned. According to the legend, when the Tiber River flooded, the water carried a small boat into the Piazza di Spagna that stayed in the center of the square after the water receded.


  1. What a great article. Thank you for sharing your favourite fountains to be found in Rome, away from the very obvious one. That's why I love reading posts like these: to find things way from the main tourist track.

  2. Ah they're all beautiful! Just another reason for us to visit Rome one day. I love the idea of the Quattro Fiume.

  3. Splendid artwork! Hope to see them with my own eyes one day.

  4. Love this post about the statues of Rome. I also love taking pics of statues and monuments!


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