Water and legends

Ancient fountains of Siena

Ancient fountains of Siena

Water and legends

In all medieval towns, fountains were considered much more than simply functional and ended up becoming fundamental features of the street furniture. Siena’s fountains are therefore architectual masterpieces in their own right and can be admired whilst taking a relaxing stroll through the streets of the historic centre.

Large or small, imposing or refined, they are to be found on practically every corner of the city, provided for by that feat of electronic engineering, the “bottini”, a system of underground tunnels that transport water all over the city.

Fontebranda: interno della vasca
Il primo documento ove è citata la Fonte risale al 1081, ma forse si trattava di una sorgente ubicata più in alto del luogo attuale. La copertura delle tre robuste volte a crociera risale al 1246, frutto di un rifacimento totale. Il nome è tutt'ora un mistero. Forse deriva da Fons Blandus.....rimando al blando scorrimento delle acque.
Fonte Serena o Fonte del Casato
Ubicata al di sotto del piano stradale, per accedervi bisogna scendere una ripida scalinata, scomoda da risalire con i secchi pieni di acqua e assai pericolosa durante il periodo invernale. Quasi nascosta, passa inosservata ai più.

Not to be missed on our tour are the oldest and most famous fountain Fontebranda, St. Catherine’s fountain, and Fonte Gaia, which is without a doubt the most “aesthetically pleasing” in the square at the heart of Siena.

The original by Iacopo della Quercia, which has somewhat eroded, is preserved in the Santa Maria della Scala. Today, we can stop to look upon the 19th century copy by Tito Sarrochi.

In Il Casato, we will discover Fonte Serena, which is fed by Fonte Gaia and which is certainly less interesting in terms of art, but distinctive in terms of its position. Remaining hidden among the buildings, it even eluded the Florentines during the siege of 1555.

These are just the main fountains which we will come across on our tour. I look forward to discovering many more with you!

Fonte Gaia: particolare
Chiamata Fonte Gaia sin dall'inizio, forse per l'esultanza della gente, all'arrivo dell'acqua in Piazza, la Fonte originale risaliva al 1343. Nel 1419, dopo 10 anni dall'incarico, Jacopo della Quercia consegnava a Siena la fonte nuova. Quella che vediamo attualmente è una copia liberamente integrata, di fine XIX secolo che andò a sostituire i marmi del Della Quercia, fortemente degradati.


Possible extensions:

  • The Medici fortress
  • The Orto de’ Pecci



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