Italy’s five best fountains

Italy’s public fountains speak of the nation’s history, culture and art. We’ve picked five of our favourites. What do you think? Have we missed any?

Photos by iStock

Trevi fountain, Rome, Italy
 The Trevi Fountain is the largest Baroque fountain in Rome and attracts millions of tourists every year. Clemens XII commissioned it in 1732, and it was christened 30 years later by his successor, Clemens XIII. It shows Neptune’s chariot being led by two Tritons – one trying to tame a fiery horse symbolizing the rough sea, the other blowing a shell-horn to represent the quiet sea. Legend has it that if you toss a coin with your left hand over your right shoulder, with your back to the fountain, you will return to Rome. For more, click here.


fountain of 99 spouts, Italy


2 The Fountain of 99 Spouts (Cannelle) in L’Aquila is one of Abruzzo’s most famous monuments. Historically, the number 99 is important to the city, though the fountain – originally known as Fontana della Rivera – only actually displays 93 spouts, each sculpted with a different stonework face. 



Fountain of the naiads



3 If you visit the Piazza della Repubblica in Rome, you’ll probably find it hard to resist stopping in wonder in front of the glorious Fountain of the Naiads. Four naiads guard the centre of the fountain, where the Greek god Glaucus rules, symbolising the dominion of man over natural force. 






fountain of the four rivers, Italy




4 The Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, or Fountain of the Four Rivers, is another of Rome’s fantastic fountain sculptures. The four gods each represent the four major rivers of the world known at the time: the Nile, Danube, Ganges and Plate, and all are designed to have symbolic importance.





fountain of neptune, Italy



5 Since 1575, the Fountain of Neptune has stood proudly in Florence’s Piazza della Signoria. However, it has faced frequent damage from vandals, and today its security is taken very seriously.