Rome Sights

Fontana delle Api (Fountain of the Bees)

  • Via Veneto at Piazza Barberini Map It
  • Quirinale
  • Fountain

Published 06/07/2016

Fodor's Review

Decorated with the famous heraldic bees of the Barberini family, the upper shell and the inscription are from a fountain that Bernini designed for Pope Urban VIII; the rest was lost when the fountain was moved to make way for a new street. The inscription was the cause of a considerable scandal when the fountain was first built in 1644. It said that the fountain had been erected in the 22nd year of the pontiff's reign, although in fact the 21st anniversary of Urban's election to the papacy was still some weeks away. The last numeral was hurriedly erased, but to no avail—Urban died eight days before the beginning of his 22nd year as pope. The superstitious Romans, who had immediately recognized the inscription as a foolhardy tempting of fate, were vindicated.

Sight Information


Via Veneto at Piazza Barberini, Rome, Latium, 00187, Italy

Map It

Published 06/07/2016


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