Fontana del Tritone – English


Considered one of the most beautiful fountains of Rome.

Historical notes

The Triton Fountain, is located in Piazza Barberini in Rome, is the work of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, which was commissioned by Pope Urban VIII Barberini, as part of the overall work of construction of the Palazzo Barberini and the area to which this palace overlooked. It was built between 1642 and 1643, coinciding with the completion of the work that interested Palazzo Barberini.
The fountain was built entirely of travertine and is a Triton, kneeling on a shell supported by four dolphins, the act of blowing into a shell, from which springs the water of the fountain, which is gathered in a bath with curves. Among the tails of dolphins can see the bees of the Barberini family crest, and the keys, coat of arms of the popes, and so of Urban VIII, the commissioner of the work. The small columns that surround the fountain are added to the nineteenth century, when the square began to be busy.
One time the fountain was known among the Romans as the Triton Fountain sounding because of the acute wheezing emitted by the highest fountain that once out of the shell. The fountain has undergone several restorations, the last of them in chronological order, dating back to 1998. The fountain gives name to the road that climbs from Piazza Colonna to Piazza Barberini.


The Triton Fountain is one of the most important works of Gian Lorenzo Bernini. It was built under Pope Urban VIII Barberini, who commissioned the artist to celebrate the big house and make it the focal point of the area, now Piazza Barberini, which is dominated by the family palace at that time and considered the suburbs.
Entirely carved travertine, the work consists of a tank with a central mixed-line four dolphins supporting two tails crossed papal coats of arms and a double clam shell on which stands the figure of a triton.
Known as “Triton resounding” high spout for a time, almost shrill whistle, which was issued by the shell blows the sea god, the fountain was made ??between the end of 1642 and the first half of 1643, coinciding with the final stages of construction of Palazzo Barberini. As in all the fountains of Bernini, the pool is of limited height so as to allow a broader view of the water and the central sculptural group. The fence colums granite is connected by metal bars nineteenth century, achieved when the square began to be frequented by cars and acquire the first modern appearance.

From Lord of the square to median

In the election of Rome capital, the new planning regulations led to a rapid road system in the area: the square was paved and equipped with gas lighting, was opened and built the Via del Tritone and the Hotel Bristol (with the consequent destruction portal access from the square to the Palazzo Barberini). Between 1926 and 1932 was opened today’s Via Barberini, causing the disappearance of the picturesque houses and twisting succession of multi-storey buildings with new proportions between the buildings, the Palazzo Barberini and the Triton.
The construction of the cinema and the rebuilt in modern forms of the hotel behind the fountain, have permanently altered the function of the precious baroque work, created as a pivot of a harmonious space and now relegated to the area median.

The urgency of an intervention

In view of its importance, the fountain has received special treatment by the municipal administration, with specific and recent restoration and maintenance. The interventions of 1978-79 and 1987-88 led to the development of more appropriate methods of intervention, and maintenance cycles performed in the ’90s, ’91 and ’92 have held back the reform degradation. In 1998 he was made a new conservation work, but since then the fountain is not receiving any maintenance or restoration project.

How to get there

It is reachable from the Barberini station



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