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Typology: Fountains


Address: Via Garibaldi
Zone: Rione Trastevere (Gianicolo) (Roma centro)
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Opening times

The front of the Fontanone is always visible

You can also visit the garden behind the Fontanone dell'Acqua Paola by reservation only. To Know how to visit the garden see Giardino retrostante il Fontanone dell'Acqua Paola

Scheduled events


Known as the 'Fontanone del Gianicolo', the fountain dominates the large terrace overlooking the city. It was built between 1610 and 1614 by the architects Giovanni Fontana (1540-1614), Flaminio Ponzio (1560-1613) and the sculptor Ippolito Buzio (1562-1634) as the final exhibition of the Trajan-Paul Aqueduct, at the behest of Pope Paul V Borghese (1605-1621), whose emblems (dragon and eagle) recur in several places on the monument.

Designed on the model of the ancient triumphal arch, the fountain consists of five large arches flanked by columns and a large attic with a dedicatory inscription. White and polychrome marbles from the Roman Forum and the Temple of Minerva in the Forum of Nerva were used for the decoration, while the columns, in red and grey granite, belonged to the ancient Constantinian basilica of St. Peter.

At the end of the 17th century, the architect Carlo Fontana (1638-1714) modified the façade, giving the fountain its present form: a monumental marble basin was added to replace the five collection basins, originally inserted between the intercolumniations of the arches.

Damaged by French cannons during the short-lived Roman Republic of 1849, the fountain underwent a first restoration in 1859 and then in 1934 and the 1950s. The last major conservation work carried out by the Capitoline Administration dates back to 2002-2004.

From 1901 to the 1930s, the water from the 'fontanone' supplied Rome's first hydroelectric power station.

A curiosity: the large and beautiful epigraph on the attic contains an error. It mentions the restoration of the Alsietine aqueduct, when in fact, as we have seen, it was the ancient Trajan aqueduct that was restored.

Behind the fountain is a small garden in memory of the much larger garden that existed in the seventeenth century and that pope Alexander VII Chigi (1655-1667) had destined as a botanical garden. The small garden at the back of the monument is accessed via a flight of steps in Via Garibaldi 30, from where there is a magnificent panoramic view of the city.

26 November 2019 - opening ceremony of the fountain, after the extraordinary maintenance works started on 29 May 2019.
The work carried out was made possible thanks to a donation from the Maison Fendi, which, after having supported, as part of the Fendi for Fountains project, the restoration of the Trevi Fountain and the Quattro Fontane Complex, now adds this new important contribution to the enhancement of the artistic heritage of the Eternal City.
The work was carried out, following a public tender, by Methodos di Valeria Mallia, a company specialising in the restoration of stone materials. Work began on 29 May on the Acqua Paola fountain and the Peschiera fountain, followed in the following months by work on the Moses fountain and the Pincio Nymphaeum, and was completed on schedule.
On all the fountains, maintenance concerned the surface of the basins and all the lower parts of the façades, all the surfaces were washed, biological patinas were removed, calcareous incrustations were removed, and the cracks were consolidated and filled where necessary. Finally, the tanks were waterproofed and the water and electrical systems were checked.
In particular, for this occasion, the Municipality of Rome, through Areti, has installed a new lighting system with LED technology for the Peschiera Exhibition and, in the same fountain, the reactivation of the water system, which is currently being perfected.

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Last checked: 2021-10-18 10:02