Sunday, December 29, 2013


1608/12 Flaminio Ponzio (1560/1613) with Giovanni Fontana (1540/1614), brother of Domenico and expert in hydraulics, for Pope Paul V Borghese (1605/21)
They used marble from the Temple of Minerva in the Forum of Nerva and four columns from the old Basilica of St. Peter
It is the ending fountain of the Acqua Paola aqueduct, restoration of the Aqua Traiana dating back to 109 AD
It is popularly known as Er Fontanone, the big fountain
"Compared to the Fountain of the Acqua Felice, which intentionally inspired by the Acqua Paola, there is a difference even greater than what we have seen in the Sistine and the Pauline chapels in S. Maria Maggiore. The static scheme of the Roman arch here is embedded in a gently oscillating boundary. The means of two pairs of volutes and a segmented pediment generate a 'silhouetted' mixed-line, without stiffness, blending the massive volume with the landscape of the Janiculum Hill. This spectacular great machine perforated by light which, filtering through the holes overlapping the water outlets, introduces an ambiguous indication of depth, is one of the landmarks of the irreplaceable views of the Baroque city. The painter Scipione, in the thirties of the twentieth century happily called it 'the front of Rome'" (Paolo Portoghesi)
The semicircular basin was added in 1690 by Carlo Fontana (1634/1714) for Innocent XII Pignatelli (1691/1700) because the water before then came down the hill in the form of a waterfall
Currently the running water is recycled
Inside there is a small deposit of monuments and tombstones from various areas of Rome
When the water of the Acqua Paola aqueduct came in Trastevere for the first time the population was very disappointed because water was non-potable, and even today it is said that "to be worth like the Acqua Paola" is a synonym of "being worth little or nothing"

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