Rome Sights

Fontanone dell'Acqua Felice (Fountain of Sixtus V)

  • Piazza San Bernardo Map It
  • Repubblica
  • Fountain

Published 06/07/2016

Fodor's Review

When Pope Sixtus V (Felice Peretti) completed the restoration of the Acqua Felice toward the end of the 16th century, Domenico Fontana was commissioned to design this commemorative fountain. As the story goes, a sculptor named Prospero da Brescia had the unhappy task of executing the central figure, which was to represent Moses (Sixtus fancied himself a kind of "Moses," having provided water to his thirsting population). The comparison with Michelangelo's magnificent Moses in the church of San Pietro in Vincoli was inevitable, and the largely disparaging criticism of Prospero's work is said to have driven him to his grave. A full cleaning, however, has left the fountain—whose Moses in recent years had looked as if he were dipped in soot—sparkling white, revealing a great deal of its charm.

Sight Information


Piazza San Bernardo, Rome, Latium, 00187, Italy

Map It

Published 06/07/2016


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