The Fountain of Neptune (Fontana del Nettuno) is a monumental fountain in the Piazza Municipio in Naples. It previously stood in the Via Medina, but was moved to its current location in 2014. This was necessary due to the construction of a new metro stop. It is also known as Fontana Medina.
Fountain of Neptune Naples
History and description
The Fontana del Nettuno was constructed towards the end of the 16th century during the reign of Enrico di Guzmàn. Its construction was in the hands of Michelangelo Naccherino, Angelo Landi, Pietro Bernini e Domenico Fontana. At the time, it was placed next to the Arsenal of the city’s port, built in 1577.
Around 1625, this area ran out of water and Viceroy Don Antonio Alvarez di Toledo had the fountain moved to what is now Piazza del Plebiscito.
A short time later, the fountain was moved again, this time to the Santa Lucia district. On this occasion, Cosimo Fanzago added some decorations.
Another move, to what is now the Via Medina, took place in 1638. The architect in charge was again Cosimo Fanzago, who en passant added eight lions to the design. He had help from his sons Carlo and Ascienzo. The marble workers Domenico Vannelli and Andrea Iodice simultaneously added the dolphins, seahorses and cupids.
In 1647, the fountain was damaged during Masaniello’s revolution, but promptly restored by Iodice and Castellano. Not much later, Viceroy Antonio d’Aragona, as his term came to an end, looted several cupids from the fountain.
Also in the 17th century, the fountain was restored twice.
In 1886, the fountain was moved to one of the caves of Pizzofalcone before ending up in today’s Piazza Bovio. After some restorations in the early 20th century, the fountain was moved again in 2000, when work began on the metro.
In 2001, it reappeared in Via Medina and in 2015, on the occasion of the opening of metro stop Municipio, in its current location.
The fountain consists of a sculptural group of two nymphs and two satyrs on a rock, together holding up a tub. On this tub is a statue of Neptune with his trident.
Around the tub is a balustrade interrupted by four large sets of stairs. The lions at the bottom of the steps display the coats of arms of the Duke of Medina and his wife Anna Carafa.
Two sea monsters squirt water into the tub, which is decorated with the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Spain. Above, the cross of the Kingdom of Jerusalem can be seen, along with several other coats of arms.
Originally, the tub was supported by four dolphins, with four caryatids stood on top.