The Fountain of the Niche is located on the Via dei Fori Imperiali in Rome, near the Tourist Information Office. Since the fountain is at the back wall of the grounds of the Palazzo Silvestri Rivaldi, it is also sometimes referred to as the Fontana di Palazzo Silvestri Rinaldi.
Fountain of the Niche Rome
Address: Via dei Fori Imperiali, snc – Rome. The fountain can always be viewed.
History and description
The Fontana dei Fori Imperiali was designed by the architect Antonio Muñoz, who was also responsible for the construction of the Via dei Fori Imperiali itself.
Built in the early 1930s, the fountain consists of a granite basin, with a mask on either side. The tub is centered on a second basin, which is larger and oval in shape.
The monument stands in a kind of apse in the retaining wall of the former Velia Hill, which was leveled when the Via dell’Impero (today’s Via dei Fori Imperiali) was built.
The ancient granite tub dates back to Roman times and was found in 1696 during excavations at the ancient port in Ostia Antica. It was gifted by Pope Innocenzo XII Pignatelli to the Curia Innocenziana, which had its seat in the Palazzo di Montecitorio, where it was placed in the courtyard nymphaeum designed by Carlo Fontana.
When the Palazzo di Montecitorio became the seat of Parliament, it was renovated. The tub was stored in a municipal warehouse before being used by Muñoz in the decoration of the Via dei Fori Imperiali.