THE ancient Romans, it is known, they had a particular relationship with water. They built their own city on rivers and they equipped themselves with ingenious systems for the time, so much so that in the 3rd century AD they were active in the city eleven aqueductswho supplied the water population, the baths, private houses and fountains. The fountains, in particular, were everywhere and this is proved by the fact that in the mid-fourth century AD. C. were registered in the Urbe between 1200 and 1300 fountainsfrom the simplest ones to monumental works without counting those found in the villas, nymphaeums and thermal baths. The result is that even today the fountains of Rome they are a symbol of the city.
The fountains of Rome. And their god
And there was even a god, fons, who governed the sources and who had the temple where theAltar of the Fatherland. A passion destined to last could only be grafted onto such a water-based culture: and in fact, having passed thereera of emperors and the Middle Agesmonumental fountains began to be built in Rome, often desired by the popes as symbols of power. And almost all of them have come down to us becoming true icons so much so that it is now possible to tour the city by following this very thing path of water and carved stone.
The most famous of Rome’s fountains, if only because seen in unforgettable films, is the Trevi Fountain, symbol of Sweet life and scenery of one of the most unforgettable scenes of Toto. In rich Baroque style it was commissioned in 1732 by Pope Clement XII and the realization involved several artists including GianLorenzo Bernini even if the final project was of Nicola Salvi and Giuseppe Pannini who finished it in 1766.
The boat in the Spanish Steps
One of the most famous monuments of the city is found in Piazza di Spagna. And it was born on a project by Peter Bernini, Lorenzo’s father, was commissioned by Pope Urban VIII. The idea, based on the already mentioned wealth of water inherited from the Roman aqueducts, was to build a large fountain in each of the main city squares and the shape chosen was that of the boat – later called Longboat – takes up the style of the vehicles used not far away, on Tiber.
Another symbolic square, another fountain. The square is the one that arose inancient stadium of Domitian become today Piazza Navona. And of course we’re talking about the Fountain of the Four Rivers.
The genius of Bernini and his legacy
This masterpiece comes from the project of GianLorenzo Bernini who built it around 1650 on behalf of Pope Innocent X, in the heart of the Baroque era. The fountain symbolically represents the four great rivers known at the time, ie Nile, Danube, Ganges and Rio della Plata but it is made even more gigantic by the presence of a roman obelisk, copy of an Egyptian model above it.
We talked about the superstars: but there is a lesser-known square in Rome that hosts another masterpiece not to be missed. We are talking about Mattei squarein the neighborhood Sant’Angelowhere is the turtle fountaindesigned by Giacomo della Porta. It’s an elegant marble and bronze structure with ephebes leaning on shells which has had a rather eventful history between thefts and damage. So much so that now the three original ephebes are at the Vatican museums and in the square the copies resist.
Returning to one of the large unmissable squares of the capital, here it is Piazza del Popolo and to Fountain of the Lions. But she is not alone. In fact, at the center is this work designed by Joseph Valadier in the early 1800s which he incorporated an obelisk that had stood there since the 1500s. The name comes from the Egyptian-style lions that splash the water. But that’s not all: the huge square gave Valadier the idea of building two other fountains which are located on the two side semicircles. They are two fountains that are the same in shape but different in the decorations that they are called Fontana della Dea Roma and Fontana del Nettuno.
The newt of the Barberini
Does that seem like a lot to you? But the fountains of Rome are many more. Among those that must be visited there is certainly the Triton Fountain, to Piazza Barberini, one of the masterpieces of GianLorenzo Bernini. Commissioned by Pope Urban VIII represents four dolphins supporting a triton blowing water from a shell and was designed, in the mid-1600s, to enrich the square in front of the Pope’s family palace.
The Goddess of the Capitol
Scrolling through the list, it is then discovered that there is a second one fountain of the Goddess Rome. This is located in Campidoglio square and it was born when, thanks to the construction works of a new aqueduct, it was possible to bring water to the elevated square. AND’ built around 1590 on a project by Matteo Bortolani and represents with the usual statues the Nile and the Tiber and makes this space designed by the great artist even more monumental Michelangelo.
We conclude the journey in the water of the fountains of Rome by stopping in front of the magnificence of the Pantheon where the fountain of Frroundabout square. It is particular because she has had many faces. Designed to late ‘500 it has had several renovations among which the most important is that of 1711 when it was added the Egyptian obelisk and was elevated. Since then she has stood out in the heart of the city. And in the thousands of photos that are taken every day in this magical space. Arrived from 110 AD up to us.