Fountains in Rome

There is no other city that boasts as many monumental fountains as the Eternal City. Most people have heard of the magnificent Trevi Fountain, but many other beautiful fountains can be found all around Rome – there are about 300 in all. Many of them are monumental in scale and feature absolutely magnificent designs. The fountains built in the Renaissance and Baroque era, which were created by some of the most famous sculptors and architects of all time like Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Michelangelo, are particularly worth a visit.

Below a list of some of the most interesting fountains in Rome, listed alphabetically.

Listed alphabetically
Fontana Cairoli

The fountain at the center of Piazza Cairoli was created in 1888-1890 and was the work of horticulturist and landscape designer Edouard André. The fountain has a granite octagonal basin with in the central a pillar supporting an ancient, granite Roman cup that was found in 1887 at the Roman Forum. Water flows from a bowl on top of a baluster that rests on the ancient cup.

Fontana dei Cavalli Marini

The Fountain of the Seahorses in the Villa Borghese park was built in 1790-1791 by sculptor Vincenzo Pacetti after a design by Cristoforo Unterperger, a Neoclassical painter. Four seahorses emerge from the center of a large basin. They support a smaller basin, in which stands a two-tiered finial fountain decorated with acanthus leaves.

Fontana dei Dioscuri

The Dioscuri Fountain was created in 1818 to replace an earlier, lost fountain on the Piazza del Quirinale near the Presidential palace. The fountain was commissioned by Pope Pius VII and was designed by the Italian architect Raffaele Stern. The fountain’s basin is set in front of an obelisk flanked by statues of Castor & Pollux, who gave the fountain its name.

Fontana dei Leoni

At the center of the Piazza del Popolo stands a tall obelisk, erected here in 1589. When architect Giuseppe Valadier redesigned the square in 1811 he placed four Egyptian-style marble lions that spout water into basins below around the obelisk. The fountain is known as the Obelisk Fountain or the Fountain of the Lions.

Fontana dei Libri

The Fontana dei Libri (Fountain of books) is one of nine fountains that were created in 1927 by Pietro Lombardi to represent different districts of Rome. The fountain shows a deer and several books. The deer is the symbol for the district it is in (Sant’Eustachio) while the books are a reference to a former university. The fountain was built in the wall of the building that housed this university.

Fontana dei Navigatori

This peculiar-looking fountain was built in 1704 on the order of Pope Clement XI to be installed in the Porto di Ripetta, a former port on the Tiber River that was being built by the Baroque architect Alessandro Specchi. Specci also designed the fountain, which was to provide water to the workers in the port.

Fontana dei Tritoni (Botanical Garden)

The Triton fountain in the Botanical Garden is one of several Triton fountains in Rome. This particular one was built in 1742 by Giuseppe Poddi and was built for the garden of the Corsini Palace. It depicts two Tritons holding a fruit basket that acts as a spout.

Fontana dei Tritoni (Forum Boarium)

The Fontana dei Tritoni (Tritons Fountain) at the Forum Boarium near the Mouth of Truth, was built in 1717-1719. Its design was inspired by the similarly named Triton Fountain at Piazza Barberini. Unlike the latter, this fountain shows two Tritons instead of just one. The statues were the work of the Italian sculptor Francesco Maratti (1669-1719).

Fontana del Bernini

In 1656 Pope Alexander VII commissioned Gian Lorenzo Bernini with the transformation of the open space in front of the St. Peter’s Basilica into the St. Peter’s Square. Bernini made the existing fountain created by Carlo Maderno the centerpiece of the north side of the square, and created an almost identical fountain on the south side to complement it.

Fontana del Cantaro

The Fontana del Cantaro is a fountain built in 1929 by architect Antonio Muñoz. It is located in the courtyard of the Basilica of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere. The fountain consists of a large pond with in the center a kantharos – an ancient vessel that was used to hold wine – set on a pedestal.

Fontana del Facchino

This fountain, created in 1580, shows a porter carrying a barrel of water. The porter is a so-called ‘acquarolo’, a person who sold water on the streets of Rome in the time before the aqueducts had been repaired. The statue of the porter is one of Rome’s famous ‘talking statues’, statues used as bulletin boards for anonymous political messages.

Fontana del Maderno

The Maderno Fountain is one of two almost identical fountains in St. Peter’s Square. It was built in 1612- 1614 by the architect Carlo Maderno, after whom it is named, and replaced an older fountain on the north side of the square. The fountain on the south side of the square is a copy created 50 years later by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

Fontana del Mascherone

The Fontana del Mascherone (fountain of the Mask) is a fountain in Via Giulia created in the seventeenth century for the Farnese family. Water flows from the mouth of a large face, which probably dates from the Roman era. It is said that when the Farnese family held large feasts, wine would pour out of the fountain all day long.

Fontana del Mascherone di Santa Sabina

Just like the Fontana del Mascherone in Via Giula, this fountain at the church of Santa Sabina on the Aventine Hill, this fountain shows a mask through which flows water into the basin. The mask was created in 1593 by the stonemason Bartolomeo Bassi after a design by architect Giacomo della Porta. The granite basin, however, is from ancient Rome.

Fontana del Moro

The Fontana del Moro (Moor fountain) is the southernmost of the three fountains that embellish Piazza Navona. The fountain featuring four Tritons and a dolphin was originally designed in 1575 by Giacomo della Porta. The statue of the Moor was added much later, in 1654. It was sculpted by Giovanni Antonio Mari after a design by Bernini.

Fontana del Nettuno (Piazza del Popolo)

This fountain, situated on the western edge of Piazza del Popolo, is one of two Neptune fountains in Rome. It shows Neptune flanked by two Tritons, each accompanied by a dolphin. The fountain was built in 1823 and was the work of architect Giuseppe Valadier and local sculptor Giovanni Ceccarini.

Fontana del Nettuno (Piazza Navona)

The Fontana del Nettuno (Neptune Fountain) is a magnificent fountain on the equally magnificent Navona square. The basin of the fountain dates from 1574, but the central statue of Neptune fighting an octopus was created much later, in 1878, by the Italian sculptor Antonio della Bitta. The other sculptures surrounding the central group were created by another Italian sculptor, Gregorio Zappalà.

Fontana del Palazzo di Giustizia

On the rear side of the enormous Palace of Justice, facing Piazza Cavour, are two identical fountains that were designed by architect Guglielmo Calderini as part of the building, which was constructed between 1889 and 1991. The fountains, which are designed like classical tympanums, flank a central staircase.

Fontana del Pantheon

The fountain in front of the Pantheon was created in 1575 by the sculptor Leonardo Sormani based on a design by the architect Giacomo della Porta. Little remains of this original marble fountain: In 1711 Pope Clement XI asked the Baroque sculptor and architect Filippo Barigioni to integrate an ancient, six-meter-tall obelisk into the fountain, which resulted in a completely new design.

Fontana del Tritone (Piazza Barberini)

The Fontana del Tritone (Triton Fountain) at Piazza Barberini was built between 1642 and 1643 by the renowned sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini. It shows a Triton, resting on a large shell supported by four dolphins. The Triton is blowing a Triton trumpet shell from which a jet of water spouts.

This monumental fountain on the Janiculum Hill is called Il Fontanone (the big fountain) for a reason, as it is even taller than the Trevi Fountain. The fountain was built in 1612 on order of pope Paul V, to celebrate the reopening of an ancient Roman aqueduct. The water streams through no less than five grand arches.

Fontana dell’Adriatico

Two fountains are integrated into the colossal monument to Victor Emmanuel II. They both represent a sea bordering Italy. The fountain on the east side shows an allegorical figure representing the Adriatic Sea. It was created in 1911 by the Italian sculptor Pietro Canonica.

Fontana dell’Obelisco Lateranense

In the middle of the Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano stands a tall ancient Egyptian obelisk that was installed here in 1588. A fountain was built against its base after a design that was probably created by the Italian architect Flaminio Ponzio. Above its marble basin are sculpted dolphins, dragons and an eagle above the coat of arms of Pope Paul V, all framed by large volutes.

Fontana dell’Anfora

The Fontana dell’Anfora (Amphora Fountain), not to be confused with the Fontana delle Anphore (Fountain of the Amphoras), is a fountain that resembles a large bronze amphora with eight spouts in the shape of elephant trunks. The fountain was built in 1939 by the architect Raffaele de Vico.

Fontana della Barcaccia

Piazza di Spagna is best known for its Spanish Steps, but this famous square is also home to an interesting fountain: the Fontana della Barcaccia. The fountain in the shape of a small boat was commissioned by Pope Urban VIII and was installed here in 1629. It is said that it was modeled after a boat was found stranded here after the catastrophic flood of 1598.

Fontana della dea di Roma

The Fountain of the Goddess Roma is one of three fountains on the Piazza del Popolo. The fountain was created in 1823 by architect Giuseppe Valadier and sculptor Giovanni Ceccarini. It shows the Goddess Roma flanked by allegorical figures symbolizing two rivers: The Tiber and the Aniene.

Fontana della Navicella

The Fontana della Navicella (Fountain of the Little Ship) is one of the stranger-looking fountains in Rome. It consists of a marble boat – a Roman Galley – set on a pedestal. The boat was sculpted in 1518-1519 at the request of pope Leo X who wanted to create a copy of the remains of the original Roman sculpture that was found in the area.

Fontana della Pigna (Piazza di San Marco)

This fountain in the shape of a pinecone was designed in 1927 by Pietro Lombardi, an architect who was commissioned by the city of Rome to create several fountains that would represent districts of Rome. This one represents the 9th district known as the Pigna (pinecone) district, hence the design.

Fontana della Pigna (Vatican City)

The Pine Cone Fountain is a large fountain situated in front of an exedra in the Pine Cone Courtyard in Vatican City. The fountain dates from ancient times and originally stood near the Pantheon. At the time, water spouted out of the four-meter-tall pine cone. The fountain was moved to its present location in 1608. Today, water gushes out of a mascaron below the pine cone into a small basin.

Fontana della Terrina (Campo de’ Fiori)

The Fontana della Terrina (Soup bowl fountain) on the Campo de’ Fiori is a copy from 1924 of the original Fontana della Terrina that originally graced this same square, and which was moved later to the Chiesa Nuova square. Unlike the latter, this new copy does not have a lid (which was added to the original to prevent people from throwing trash into it).

Fontana della Terrina (Chiesa Nuova)

The fontana della Terrina in front of the Chiesa Nuova church was commissioned by Pope Gregory XIII after the restoration of the Aqua Virgo aqueduct. It was designed by Giacoma Della Porta and installed on the Campo de’ Fiori square in 1590, at the site where now stands the monument to Giordano Bruno. It moved to its current location in 1924.

Fontana delle Anfore

The Fountain of the Amphoras was created by architect Pietro Lombardi and was installed in 1926 on Piazza Testaccio. The fountain is designed like a pile of amphoras, a reference to the Monte Testaccio nearby, an artificial mound composed of fragments of broken ancient Roman pottery, mostly amphoras. The government of Rome was so satisfied with this design that they commissioned Lombardi with the construction of several more fountains.

Fontana delle Api

The Fontana delle Api or fountain of the bees is a small fountain located near the Via Veneto at Piazza Barberini. It was created in 1644 by the great sculptor Bernini, and shows a basin with an enormous shell. A couple of bees on the edge of the shell seem to drink from the fountain, hence the name of the fountain.

Fontana delle Naiadi

The Fontana delle Naiadi (Fountain of the Naiads) is a large fountain at the center of the Piazza della Repubblica. The fountain was built in 1888 and was designed by Alessandro Guerrieri. It was originally surrounded by lion statues, which were later replaced by naiads (nymphs). The centerpiece of the fountain was also replaced, and now shows a sea-god wrestling with a giant fish.

Fontana delle Tartarughe

The Fontana delle Tartarughe (Turtle Fountain) is a Renaissance fountain created in 1580-1588 by the architect Giacomo della Porta and the sculptor Taddeo Landini. It shows four boys sitting on a basin and resting their feet on dolphins. They are seemingly holding up turtles, but these were later additions from a restoration in 1658.

Fontana delle Tiare

The Fountain of the Tiaras was built in 1927 by Pietro Lombardi, an architect who was commissioned by the city of Rome to build a series of fountains in several districts. Each symbolized the area it was in. In this case, the fountain with three papal tiaras was made to represent the Borgo district, which borders Vatican City.

Fontana di Palazzo Barberini

This fountain, not to be confused with the more famous Triton fountain on the Barberini Square nearby, stands in the courtyard of the Barberini Palace, home to the Gallery of Ancient Art. The fountain was created in 1890 by the architect Francesco Azzurri, who was also responsible for the ornamental gate of the courtyard.

Fontana di Papa Giulo III

Pope Julius III had this fountain installed in 1552 at his newly built residence on Via Flaminia. The fountain – which was built into the wall of his palatial residence – was meant to provide water for the many pilgrims in the city. Illustrations show that the fountain used to be a lot more ornate than it is today. Of note is the ancient head of Apollo, through which water flows into a granite basin.

Fontana di Piazza Colonna

The fountain at Piazza Colonna was built in 1575-1577 by sculptor Rocco Rossi, after a design by the architect Giacomo della Porta. The basin is decorated with sixteen lion heads. The dolphin sculpture groups in the basin are a later addition. They were created in 1830 by the architect Alessandro Stocchi.

Fontana di piazza del Viminale

This fountain embellishes the square in front of the Ministry of the Interior. It was built in 1929 by the architect Publio Morbiducci. The fountain looks like a sepulchral monument: a rectangular base decorated with reliefs is set in a shallow pool and surmounted by a large basin. Water gushes like a waterfall from the basin into the pool below.

Fontana di Piazza di Campitelli

This fountain was designed in 1589 by Giacomo Della Porta on the order of Pope Sixtus V, who, after the restoration of an ancient aqueduct, commissioned the construction of several fountains. It was built by stonemason Pompilio De Benedetti. He created an octagonal base decorated with mascarons; in its center stands a baluster that supports a wide bowl.

Fontana di piazza Mastai

The fountain of Piazza Mastai is a fountain situated in the center of the eponymous square. The fountain was commissioned by Pope Pius IX and was built in 1860-1865 by the architect Antonio Sarti. The base, set on a large platform, is a large octagonal basin emblazoned with reliefs. The central part consists of a stepped fountain with two bowls. Water flows from the smallest, top one, into the basin.

Fontana di Piazza Nicosia

This is one of several fountains in Rome designed by Italian architect and sculptor Giacomo della Porta. It was built in 1572 and was installed at the center of Piazza del Popolo, but it was later deemed too small for this large square, so it was moved to its current position on Piazza Nicosia. The original four Tritons that decorated the fountain are now part of the Fontana del Moro on Piazza Navona.

Fontana di Piazza Sant’ Andrea della Valle

This fountain was commissioned by Pope Paul V in 1614 after the completion of the ancient aqueduct of Trajan. It was designed by Carlo Maderno, who at the time was working on the facade of the St. Peter’s Basilica. The fountain was originally located in the Borgo district near the Vatican, but since 1958 it has been at its current location in front of the church of Sant’ Andrea della Valle.

Fontana di piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere

A fountain has been standing at the center of the Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere since at least the 8th century. The fountain has been redesigned multiple times since, including by the renowned architect Donate Bramante. Its current incarnation is a reconstruction of a design that dates back to 1659, and is the work of the equally famous sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

Fontana di Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore

Carlo Maderno built this fountain in 1615 right in front of a column that was taken from the ancient Basilica of Maxentius a year earlier. He created a large basin with in its center a baluster that supports a bowl from which water flows into the basin. The basin was decorated with sculptures of dragons and eagles, but sadly, the dragons are now lost.

Fontana di Ponte Sisto

The Fontana di Ponte Sisto is a large fountain located on Piazza Trilussa. It is positioned towards the Ponte Sisto (a pedestrian Renaissance bridge), after which it is named. The fountain was built in the 17th century and was originally integrated into the facade of a building located on the other side of the bridge. It was moved to its present site in the 19th century.

Fontana di Porta San Pancrazio

According to the inscription right above this fountain, which is set against a wall at the intersection of Via Garibaldi and Via Porta San Pancrazio in Trastevere, this fountain was inaugurated in 1629. It consists of a mascaron of a lion’s head flanked by two spouts that pour water into a simple basin.

Fontana di Santa Croce in Gerusalemme

In front of the large church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme stands a small fountain that was built in 1928 by the architect Vittorio Cafiero. It consists of a base with a column in its center, around which are three small basins. Each basin is surmounted by a travertine scroll with a relief of a cherub face that pours water into the basin.

Fontana di Via degli Staderari

It may not look like it, but this is a relatively modern fountain: it was inaugurated in 1987. The fountain is dominated by an enormous granite bathtub that was found in 1985 at the site of the Baths of Nero. The bath was found in eight pieces and was restored, but you can still see the lines where it was broken.

Fontana Sarcofago al Colosseo

This fountain is rather awkwardly located against a wall of the metro station opposite the Colosseum. Its basin is an ancient Roman sarcophagus, decorated with relief sculptures that show two winged putti holding a medallion with the portrait of the deceased. A lion’s head water spout pours water into this magnificent basin.

Fontane di piazza Farnese

At the center of Piazza Farnese stand two almost identical fountains. The basins are ancient granite bathtubs that were taken from the Baths of Caracalla. The central part of the fountains consists of a bowl with an ornament in the shape of a fleur-de-lis, the symbol of the Farnese family.

Fontanella di Via Paolina

This – for Roman standards – rather modest fountain was built in 1930 by Mariano Ginesi. He designed a mural fountain following Classical themes, with a garland and pilasters framing a winged putti whose mouth serves as a spout that pours water into a basin.

At the center of the oval-shaped Navona Square stands the Fountain of the Four Rivers. Designed by the famous sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini, this fountain depicts allegorical figures of four of the world’s greatest rivers: the Nile, the Ganges, the Danube and the Rio de la Plata. They are placed around a rock that is crowned with a tall obelisk.

This is one of Rome’s largest monumental fountains. It was built at the end of the sixteenth century at the behest of pope Sixtus V. The fountain is designed as a blind triumphal arch with three arches. The central one contains a statue of Moses, while the others show reliefs with biblical scenes.

Quattro Fontane

As its name implies, this is not just one, but a group of four fountains. They are located at the corners of the intersection of two streets. Each of the fountains is set in a niche: two are thought to represent rivers – the Tiber and the Arno. The others show statues of Juno, patron goddess of Rome, and Diana, patroness of hunters.

Rome’s – and probably the world’s – most famous fountain is absolutely monumental. It shows a massive exedra with a large statue of Neptune, the god of the Sea, who is riding a seashell chariot that is pulled by two seahorses. The seahorses are guided by Tritons. It is said that you will return to Rome if you throw a coin into the fountain’s water basin.

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