"Quattro Fontane (Four Fountains)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Friday 29th April 2011
It is a part of a street laid out by Sixtus V with the name Via Felice (derives from the name of pope Felice Peretti). The name "Quattro Fontane" was given it from the composition of four fountains located in the crossing point between this street and Via XX Settembre.
The fountains are placed in the corners of the four buildings that stand at the crossing between Via delle Quattro Fontane and Via XX Settembre, each within a niche. They were built between 1588 and 1590 under pope Sixtus the Fifth Peretti (1585-1590) to decorate the quadrivium formed by Strada Pia (today Via XX Settembre) and Strada Felice (today Via delle Quattro Fontane). Also called Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers).
Here on the angles of the palaces forming the crossroad, in 1593 were erected four statues representing rivers the Tiber (with a she-wolf) (pictured above) and the Aniene, and divinities Diana (as Fidelity) and Juno (as Strength), with the decorated backgrounds and basins of water. The design of three of them is by D.Fontana, the forth is by P.da Cortona. The later Baroque church of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, by Francesco Borromini, is located near the fountains, and takes its name from them.
The figures of the four fountains represent the River Tiber (the symbol of Rome); the River Arno the symbol of Florence; the Goddess Diana; the symbol of Chastity; and the Goddess Juno, the symbol of Strength. The fountains of the Arno, Tiber, and Juno are the work of Domenico Fontana. The fountain of Diana was designed by the painter and architect Pietro da Cortona.
The fountains all present semicircular travertine ponds. In the upper part of each fountain there is a statue that lies in front of a spectacular background consisting of vegetable ornaments. Two of them represent rivers. The one in the corner of Palazzo del Drago represents the Arno river flanked by a lion, coat of arms of Florence. Close to the nearby church of San Carlino is the Tiber river with a cornucopia full of fruit in the left hand and the she-wolf on its side. The statue representing Fidelity or more probably Diana flanked by a dog and leaning against three mountains, emblem of Sixtus the Fifth, is in the corner towards Palazzo Barberini. The fourth fountain represents Strength or the goddess Juno with a peafowl on the left and alion’s head pouring water on the right.
Quattro Fontane (Four Fountains)
Via delle Quattro Fontane (Piazza Quattro Fontane)
At the intersection of Via delle Quattro Fontane and Via del Quirinale
00187, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Castro Pretorio (Porta Pia) (Roma centro)
Quattro Fontane (Four Fountains) is Shown By "Map E Zone" As "85"