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Fontana dell’Acqua Paola: 3 Captivating Insights of a Roman Fountain

Step into the enchanting world of Rome’s Janiculum Hill, where the Fontana dell’Acqua Paola, affectionately known as Il Fontanone, awaits to captivate your senses. Built in 1612 to mark the end of the Acqua Paola aqueduct, this baroque masterpiece, named after Pope Paul V, promises a rendezvous with history and breathtaking views.

In this article, we’ll explore the glory of the Fontana dell’Acqua Paola, uncovering its rich history, cinematic appearances, and the intricate design that makes it one of Rome’s most cherished gems. Begin this artistic voyage with us through the ages as we discover the magic that graces this monumental fountain.

1. Historical Significance

Photo by Bardia Azizi

The Fontana dell’Acqua Paola, also known as Il Fontanone or Mostra dell’Acqua Paola, is a monumental fountain located on the Janiculum Hill, near the church of San Pietro in Montorio, in Rome, Italy. Built in 1612, it marked the end of the Acqua Paola aqueduct, which was restored by Pope Paul V. The fountain took its name from him.

Photo by Bardia Azizi

Commission and Design

The fountain was commissioned by Pope Paul V Borghese in 1605 to provide water to the inhabitants of Trastevere. The Pope appointed the architect Flaminio Ponzio to design the fountain, but Ponzio died before the project was completed. His assistant, Giovanni Fontana, took over the project and completed it in 1612.

The fountain was designed in the Baroque style, which was popular in Rome at the time. It features a large central basin, which is surrounded by four smaller basins. The fountain is decorated with statues and reliefs, which depict scenes from the Bible and Roman history.

Commencement and Early History

Photo by Joe Shlabotnik

The Fontana dell’Acqua Paola was established on June 28, 1612, in the presence of Pope Paul V. The fountain was an important symbol of the Pope’s power and authority, as well as a source of water for the people of Trastevere.

Over the years, the fountain fell into disrepair, and it was restored several times. In the 19th century, the fountain was damaged during the siege of Rome and was restored in the 20th century. Today, the Fontana dell’Acqua Paola is one of the most important landmarks in Rome, and it is a popular tourist attraction.

Photo by Giorgio Rodano

2. Architectural Features

Baroque Style

Photo by Bardia Azizi

The fountain was designed by architect Giovanni Fontana and completed by Carlo Fontana in Baroque style. The Baroque style is characterized by its ornate and extravagant decorations, which can be seen in the fountain’s intricate details. The fountain is made of travertine stone and features a central niche with a statue of Moses striking the rock to bring forth water, surrounded by angels and cherubs.

Photo by Code

Water Basin and Aqueduct Connection

The Fontana dell’Acqua Paola features a large water basin that is fed by the Acqua Paola aqueduct. The aqueduct was built in the 17th century to bring water from Lake Bracciano to Rome. The water flows from the top of the fountain into the basin, creating a beautiful display of cascading water. The fountain is also adorned with several smaller basins and fountains, adding to its grandeur.

The Fontana dell’Acqua Paola is a stunning example of Baroque architecture and engineering. Its intricate details and connection to the Acqua Paola aqueduct make it an important historical landmark in Rome.

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3. Cultural Impact

Cinematic Appearances

Photo by Bardia Azizi

The Fontana dell’Acqua Paola has been featured in several films and television shows. One of the most notable appearances is in the 1953 film “Roman Holiday,” starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. In the film, the fountain is shown during a scene where the characters are sightseeing in Rome. The fountain was also featured in the 2009 film “Angels & Demons,” based on the novel by Dan Brown. In the film, the fountain is shown during a chase scene through the city.

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Literary Mentions

The Fontana dell’Acqua Paola has been mentioned in several literary works. One of the most notable mentions is in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s essay “Journey to Italy.” In the essay, Goethe describes the fountain as “a magnificent work of art.” The fountain was also mentioned in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel “The Marble Faun,” where it is described as “one of the most beautiful fountains in Rome.”

Other literary works that mention the Fontana dell’Acqua Paola include “The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone” by Tennessee Williams and “The Agony and the Ecstasy” by Irving Stone.

Overall, the Fontana dell’Acqua Paola has had a significant cultural impact, appearing in films and television shows, as well as being mentioned in literary works. Its beauty and historical significance have made it a popular tourist destination in Rome.

Fontana dell’Acqua Paola: A recap

Photo by Slices of Light

The Fontana dell’Acqua Paola, a Baroque masterpiece on Rome’s Janiculum Hill, was built in 1612 to mark the end of the Acqua Paola aqueduct. This popular tourist attraction boasts a stunning design with a central basin and ornate carvings, creating a peaceful ambiance as water cascades down.

Commissioned by Pope Paul V and designed by Giovanni Fontana, it holds significant historical value. Explore the charm of Fontana dell’Acqua Paola and learn more about Trastevere Neighborhood and Janiculum Hill in our article.