Restored fountains at famed intersection merit a visit

quattrofontane4A couple of months late, I finally got to go downtown to gape at the recently restored and water-spewing Quattro Fontane, the four god (and goddesses) fountains sculpted at the end of the 16th century in niches at the four corners of the intersection between Rome’s Via XX Settembre and Via delle Quattro Fontane and which have long been a major city landmark.

Thanks to the 320,000 euros donated by the Fendi for Fountains project, in only nine months time the smog and grime of centuries were removed, restoring the statues to their original nuanced splendor. The big reveal was on March 9.

The two male statues are the river gods, Tiber (Tevere) and Arno, and the females are Juno and Diana. The Diana has been attributed by some to Pietro di Cortona and by others to one Pietro Paolo Olivieri, a lesser known but apparently busy sculptor of the same period.

It is interesting that the construction and placing of the fountains were apparently decided upon by Pope Sixtus V (who died however in 1590, before they were completed) who was much pleased by his successful restoration of the Alessandrino acqueduct (also known as Acqua Felice) and wanted more water brought to that part of the city.

Go see them before they get dirty again!

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