The Pianoscarano Fountain is located in the Piazza di Piano in the historic Pianoscarano district of Viterbo. It is around this fountain that several of the city’s important events take place. Like most fountains in the city, it is decorated with lion heads.
Pianoscarano Fountain Viterbo
History and description
The Pianoscarano Fountain is also known by the name Fontana del Cagnolino (“Fountain of the Doggy”), which dates back to the time when Pope Urban V resided in Viterbo. One day, one of the Pope’s servants was walking through the square and used water from the fountain to give his little dog a bath. In those days drinking water was scarce and expensive and when a local resident saw what was happening she began to protest vehemently. The French slaves scolded her, neighbours interfered and during the ensuing brawl the woman was murdered, which led to a rebellion against the Papal Court. The pope sent for reinforcements, the leaders of the rebellion were killed and the fountain destroyed.
The current fountain is a reconstruction from 1376, 9 years after the original one was destroyed.
The Fontana di Pianoscarano is still the meeting point of the people living in the district. It is also the place where the most important festivities such as the Palio delle Botti take place. This event is the highlight of the Festival del Vino, during which wine rather than water flows from the fountain.
During harvest time, the barrels that needed to be rinsed were brought to the fountain, which often led to disturbances as everyone wanted to be as close to the water as possible. Eventually it was decided that whoever was the fastest one to roll their barrel to the fountain got to choose the best position.
The fountain was again restored in the 19th century.