Fountain of the Barcaccia in Rome
The Barcaccia fountain in Rome is one of the most representative monuments of 17th century art. It is located in the Spanish Steps and you can admire it from above, climbing to the top of the flight of steps that dominates the widening. Its history and position are the result of the particular historical moment and the availability of water, coming from the Acquedotto Vergine.The work was commissioned by the Pontiff in office at the time, Pope Urban VIII of the Barberini family, who resumed a project already started in the previous century to beautify the city through the construction of fountains fed by the Acquedotto Vergine, renovated for the occasion. In 1626 the work was entrusted to Pietro Bernini, father of the famous Gian Lorenzo, who was already busy with the restoration of the larger Paola Aqueduct, from which other smaller ones branched off.
Arrived at the bottom of the stairs by Trinità dei Montiyou can admire this rather unusual sculptural work. The inspiration comes from the sea and in fact the pool is shaped like a small boat, half submerged, from which water flows through two gun-shaped holes at either end, one at the stern and the other at the bow.
Bernini was particularly good to exploit the characteristics of the spring, combining them with his genius and creativity. As he could not, in fact, realise a strong and high jet, given the low pressure of the aqueduct, he aimed at visual impact and sculptural decoration, with reliefs finished to the smallest detail.
The derogatory term 'longboat' indicates an old hull that is not in good condition and not suitable for sailing. On the sides of the boat are the symbols of the Barberini familytwo big bees.
Being the Barcaccia fountain in Romein one of the most famous and crowded squares in the world, various restoration and conservation works have been carried out on the property. The most recent were carried out in the 1990s, but further work has become necessary in recent months. The weather, continuous contact with people and pollution have caused various damages to the work, which is situated within the reach of everyone.
The recently completed interventions, were directed by Dr. Anna Maria Cerioni and restored one of the most admired monuments of the 'Bel Paese' to its former glory.