The central fountain in the Piazza Trento e Trieste in Tarquinia is simply called Fontana di Piazza. It used to be the terminus of the aqueduct that supplied the city with water until 1870.
Fontana di Piazza Tarquinia
History and description
The fountain is located in front of the Palazzo Comunale. The main body consists of a round, marble basin. Along the side there are four elevations from which two bearded masks can be seen from which water sprays.
In the center one sees rocks made of the volcanic stone peperino. Above the rocks are four ledges, graced with multiple coats of arms. The one of Pope Innocenzo XIII Conti faces Corso Vittorio Emanuele, while the one of Cardinal R. Imperiali is attachedon the Palazzo Comunale side. The coat of arms of Corneto (the ancient name of Tarquinia) is on the south side and on the east side there is an inscription in memory of the completion of the new aqueduct in 1724. From masks below the ledges, jets of water spray into four shell-shaped basins. At the base of the central column, which is crowned by a cross, four eagles can be seen. Atop the column is a cross.
According to tradition, the fountain was brought to Tarquinia from Palestrina by Cardinal G. Vitelleschi in 1435. In reality it is a design by the architect F. Barigioni and was built between 1723 and 1725 by the sculptor F. Pincellotti.
The above-mentioned aqueduct was used to carry water into the city until 1870. Ruins of it can still be seen on the road between Tarquinia and Monte Romano.