Town hall Fountain

Old Town

Town hall Fountain

1723-1725

The monumental fountain located in Piazza Matteotti, in front of the Town Hall, is composed of a circular marble basin, around which four marble pedestals are placed, with bearded mascarons on the sides from which two water jets fall. At the centre of the fountain, there are five elements in peperino stone that form a sort of rocks, at the top of which are four brackets.
The space between the brackets displays some coats of arms: on the side facing Corso Vittorio Emanuele is the coat of arms of Pope Innocent XIII Conti, on the north side, facing the Town Hall, is that of Cardinal R. Imperiali, on the south side is the coat of arms of Corneto, while on the east side there is an inscription reporting that Cardinal Imperiali, Prefect of Good Government, completed the new aqueduct in 1724. Underneath the brackets, there are mascarons from which a thin jet of water falls into four shells below.

Above the brackets, there is the base of the central column, surmounted by a cross, at whose pedestal there are four eagles facing each other.
According to tradition, the fountain was taken from Palestrina, a town near Rome, in 1435 by Cardinal G. Vitelleschi after he destroyed the town. However, the fountain is an 18th-century work, built between 1723 and 1725 based on the design of architect F. Barigioni. The construction was directed by Barigioni himself and carried out by the sculptor F. Pincellotti under a contract.
In 1724, the new aqueduct was completed, built to overcome the water shortages of the town, known as ‘arcatelle’, still visible along the road that leads from Tarquinia to Monteromano: the water brought into the town by this conduit fed the fountain until 1870, when the 18th-century aqueduct was abandoned, and the new conduit was put into operation.
For many years, and until recently, the fountain in the square has not only served as a decorative and monumental feature but has also played a vital role in the daily lives of citizens who relied on it as a source of water.

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Piazza Matteotti, 6 – 01016 Tarquinia (VT)
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Photography by: César Vásquez Altamirano, Tiziano Crescia, Roberto Romano, Sailko Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported, Paolo Monti

Translations by Ylenia Marcucci e Alessandro Rotatori