Piazza della Repubblica (dell'Esedra) and Fontana dei Naiadi (Naiads)

"Piazza della Repubblica (dell'Esedra) and Fontana dei Naiadi (Naiads)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Sunday 15th May 2011

Piazza della Repubblica (dell'Esedra) and Fontana dei Naiadi (Naiads)

This beautiful 19th century square till the WWII was an official entrance to the city and its principal center of representation. Starting from the middle of the 17th century in the zone of Terme di Diocleziano (Baths of Diocletian), popularly denominated "Termini", a meat market took place every Thursday and Friday, transferred here from Campo Vaccino, and in the month of May a fair of horses and donkeys occurred here as well.
Piazza dell'Esedra - official name "Piazza della Repubblica", but Romans call it Piazza dell'Esedra

At present the square bears an official name "Piazza della Repubblica", but Romans call it Piazza dell'Esedra, the name indicating the exedra of the Baths of Diocletian (the building on the opposite site of the square). The semicircular porticoed fronts of the palaces on either side of the entrance to the piazza follow the line of the exedra and were built in 1896-1902 by G.Koch.

In the center of Piazza della Repubblica (Piazza Esedra) is the Fontana dei Naiadi (Fountain of the Naiads). Its basin is by Alessandro Guerrieri (1901); four bronze groups of nymphs (a nymph of lakes, a nymph of rivers, a nymph of oceans and a nymph of underground waters) and the central Glaucus are by M.Rutelli (1901-1911). This fountain should be considered as the "mostra" (show) of water Acqua Marcia brought to Rome with the name "Acqua Pia Antica Marcia" by Pius IX and unveiled on September 10, 1870.
Fontana dei Naiadi (Fountain of the Naiads)
The fountain of the Acqua Marcia, renamed Aqua Pia in honour of Pious the Ninth Mastai Ferretti (1846-1878), who restored it,was once placed in a different position from the current one, approximately where the small obelisk of the monument to the soldiers fallen at Dogali is placed today. A new fountain designed by Alessandro Guerrieri was placed at the centre of the large exedra (Piazza della Repubblica) of the Thermae of Diocletian in 1888 during the works for the restoration of the area of Termini. The circular pond was firstly decorated with four temporary (plaster) lions and then in 1901 with the bronze Naiads by the sculptor Mario Rutelli.
Image 1 - Fontana dei Naiadi (Fountain of the Naiads)/ Acqua Marcia, renamed Aqua PiaImage 2 - Fontana dei Naiadi (Fountain of the Naiads)/ Acqua Marcia, renamed Aqua Pia
It consists of four groups of female figures playing with marine animals, with a figure of "Man Victorious over the Hostile Forces of Nature" in the middle. The shapely female figures caused violent disputes by many that considered them to be too provocative. The central group was added only in 1911. The first version, a marble group also by Mario Rutelli was not appreciated at all by the Romans that immediately called it irreverently “fritto misto” (mixed fry), so it was soon removed and “confined” in the gardens of Piazza Vittorio where it is currently situated. When in 1913 the imposing group of Glaucus was placed at its centre, this fountain that is unanimously considered to be the most beautiful fountain in Art Nouveau style of the time of Umberto the First, finally assumed its current appear ance.
image 3 - Fontana dei Naiadi (Fountain of the Naiads)/ Acqua Marcia, renamed Aqua Piaimage 4 - Fontana dei Naiadi (Fountain of the Naiads)/ Acqua Marcia, renamed Aqua Pia
Most squares in Rome are pedestrian, so you have a lot of time to linger and relax. Fontana dei Naiadi is one giant rotary with buses, cars, and taxis careening about at high speeds—stopping to enjoy the view.

Piazza della Repubblica (dell'Esedra) and Fontana dei Naiadi (Fountain of the Naiads)
Piazza della Repubblica (Piazza dell'Esedra)
00185, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Castro Pretorio (Porta Pia) (Roma centro)
Piazza della Repubblica (dell'Esedra) and Fontana dei Naiadi (Fountain of the Naiads) is Shown By "Map F Zone" As "11"
Piazza della Repubblica Bus: 40Exp, 57, 60Exp, 64, 65, 75,170, 175, 492, H. There are tourist bus stops at Piazza della Repubblica and Termini Station. The latter also being the starting point for many of the Rome tour bus companies. Exit the station and turn left, walking through Piazza Della Republica and then left onto Via Nazionale, or take bus lines # H, 60, 64, 70, 71, 170, 116T to the first Via Nazionale stop.
Metro: Metro A: Repubblica, or a short walk from Termini. Stazione Termini Busline: 16, 38, 75, 86, 90, 217, 310, 360, 649, 714.

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