Conceptio in Itinere

Historical Fountains

When Water weds the Stone; Historical Fountains nattaring legends
length 3hrs approx  Available: everyday am/pm


On request it can be operated as a walking tour (without Bus)

We start with the Fountain of the Naiads, one of the most beautiful fountains of modern Rome, work of the sculptor Mario Rutelli created to adorn Piazza della Repubblica. The four bronze nymphs placed around the Fountain were the subject of fierce controversy, which led to the raising of a fence to prevent the sight of the female figures, considered too sensual because of the manner they were embracing the sea monsters. The fence was later removed by popular acclaim. The central group represents the figure of Glacus Fighting a Triton. Often the creation of aqueducts and fountains was dictated by the desire to satisfy private interests of the Popes. This is the case of the Fountain of Moses in Piazza San Bernardo, built mainly to serve the huge Villa of Pope Sixtus V – no longer existing – which occupied the entire area of Termini Station and St Mary Major's Basilica. The figure of Moses was strongly criticized for its lack of elegance and proportion so as to become the subject of a humorous parody (He looks at the water gushing at his feet with a nasty eye and horrified thinks of the damage done to him by a distracted sculptor)

Going down Via Barberini we come to a masterpiece of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the Triton's Fountain, which decorates the square in front of the noble Barberini Family's Palace. It depicts a triton held up by four dolphins as he is blowing into a shell, proclaiming the family's glory to the world. Until the 18th century a macabre ritual took place in front of the fountain: the corpses of the unknown would be shown there as a crier would call for them to be recognized.

The bees are the heraldic symbol of the Barberini family. Near Via Veneto you can see the Fountain of the Bees sculptured by Bernini to celebrate the twenty-second anniversary of the papacy of Pope Urban VIII. From Via della Stamperia we come to Trevi Fountain that is certainly the most famous and spectacular fountain of Rome, made even more famous by the night-time wading of Anita Ekberg in Federico Fellini's film La Dolce Vita. The fountain, committed by Agrippa, a General of Augustus, was the terminal part of the Vergine Aqueduct built with the aim to bring water to Rome. Continuing out tour, we soon reach the Spanish Steps where we can admire the Barcaccia Fountain. It is the work of Pietro Bernini created with the aid of his more famous son Gian Lorenzo.

Tour includes: transportation with private vehicle, authorized local English speaking guide (no entrance fees foreseen)

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Images: Trevi Fountain termial part of the Virgin Aqueduct, Four Rivers Fountain in Navona Square.