"Fountain (Fontana) & Square (Piazza) of Santa Maria in Trastevere" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Monday 18th July 2011
This square was for all of the history of Trastevere district its real center and it remained it till now. In the center of it there is fountain documented since the middle of the 15th century, which was reconstructed by C.Fontana in 1692 and was restored in the 19th century. It is named after the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere, which dominates the piazza and was the first official church in Rome and was built by order of Saint Callixtus.
Piazza stands on the place where three most important roads of Trastevere cross: via della Lungaretta (beginning of the 16th century), via della Scala (beginning of the 16th century) and via di S.Francesco a Ripa (the 17th century).
Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere is the heart of Trastevere. Apart from the old buildings that overlook the square, among which is the monumental 17th century Palazzo San Callisto (1613) belonging to the Holy See, there are two elements that embellish it: the fountain and the Church.
The Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere is the social meeting point for the Trastevere area, and in the evenings you will see many couples, students, musicians and performers around the steps of the fountain (Carlo Fontana) in the center of the piazza.
The best part of the day to visit this square and Trastevere in general is evening and night time, when the soft lights of street lamps create the atmosphere of past centuries and cover the damage brought to this piece of history by time and people. Around the square, there are bars, restaurants, and bookstores. The fountain is in the center of the square and several people are chatting or resting there. At night, it's the center of Trastevere's action, with street festivals, musicians, and gamboling dogs vying for attention from the throngs of people taking the evening air.
This is one of the most ancient of the monumental fountains in Rome, already documented in the plan by Pietro del Massaio (1471) with a structure substantially similar to the one visible today: a polygonal pond at the centre of which rise two basins one on top of the other (later reduced to one).
The octagonal fountain was built in 1692 and designed by Carlo Fontana and afterward decorated and restored in the 19th century without undergoing notable changes. The fountain is considered the oldest of Rome because it was built on the same spot where, since the age of Augustus, there had been a fountain.
The story of this nice fountain is particularly tormented. It is summarized in the four epigraphs inserted on the lower pond. Important restorations were promoted in 1604 by Clement the Eighth Aldobrandini (1592-1605) and above all by Alexander the Seventh Chigi (1655-1667), who increased the flow of the water that had actually been very scarce until then for the entire quarter, and commissioned its restoration to Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who inserted four double shells turned outwards in the pond. In 1692 under pope Innocent the Twelfth Pignatelli (1691-1700), Carlo Fontana replaced the shells with the current ones that are larger and are turned inwards, giving the fountain its current appearance.
Fountain (Fontana) & Square (Piazza) of Santa Maria in Trastevere
Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere (Vicolo di Santa Maria in Trastevere)
00153, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Trastevere (Gianicolo) (Roma centro)
Fountain (Fontana) & Square (Piazza) of Santa Maria in Trastevere is Shown By "Map J Zone" As "26"
Transportation and Others: Basilica/ Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere