Oltrarno's Fountains


Fountains are a typical embellishment for many squares of the old Florence. they can be very simple, but they can also be real masterpieces of art and sculpture. Since the second halfth of the 16th Century many fountains were built in Florence, in order to provide the inhabitants with drinkable water.
After they lost this practical function, some of them were demolished or abandoned, but in Oltrarno one can still find several fountains of various types and from different times.

 Piazza Santo Spirito

In 1556 a fountain was built on the side of the refectory, where it served inhabitants until 1812. In that year architect Giuseppe del Rosso provided Piazza Santo Spirito with a garden, demolished the originary fountain and transferred from the first cloister of the monastery to the middle of the square the big fountain we see here today.

 Via San Miniato

In the square leading to the Gate of San Miniato are located these three fountains drawing water from an ancient aqueduct from the hill of San Miniato (near to the Church of San Miniato al Monte). The fountains remained in a poor state for a long time, but were fully repaired about ten years ago.

 Piazza Pitti

The typical small fountain found in many parks and squares of Florence: a couple of them is also in the elegant Piazza Pitti, in front of the famous Palace; they were added during the restoration of the square in 1993.
Several fountains of this type are located in Oltrarno: for example, in Piazza Santo Spirito, in Piazza Tasso and on the Lungarni.

 Via dello Sprone, corner with Borgo San Jacopo

This masterpiece by Buontalenti (end of 16th Century) with a striking grotesque mask, is probably the most famous fountain of Oltrarno; it was made after the fountain by Chiarissimo Fancelli located at the corner of the old Corn Market, in Via de' Neri, near Piazza della Signoria.

 Borgo San Jacopo, corner with Via Guicciardini

On this place stood the Tower of the Rossi family, largely destroyed by German mines in 1944; it was decorated with a fountain (built in 1838) showing a statue of Bacchus ascribed to Sansovino and an ancient marble bath-tub.
After the war the fountain was rebuilt, and the originary bath-tub was substituted by a Roman sarcophag. The statue of Bacchus was restored in 1998.

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