Rome is not only the city of love, the city of a thousand cats and the seven hills. No, “Roma Capitale” is also the city of a thousand fountains.
Perhaps sometime there will be a researcher who has the time to write the true story of these wondrous buildings. Most of these stories have already been lost in the flow of time, and therefore it would be a job that requires a giant.
But some of these fountains still carry their history in themselves, such as the famous Barcaccia Fountain (Fontana della Barcaccia), located at the foot of the Spanish Steps, built by Pietro Bernini between 1627 and 1629.
The history of this building is quickly told: In 1598, the Tiber river broke its banks and devastated the whole city. On Christmas Eve, the water began to flow back slowly and a barque stranded at the place where the fountain now stands. For this reason Bernini chose the shape of a stranded boat.
Even today, the Spanish Steps is still populated by young people who meet here to spend time with their friends. In between there are countless tourists who not only want to visit the stairs, but also stop at the Barcaccia fountain.
As already more than 200 years ago the Swedish storyteller H. Ch. Anderson, who noted the following about the well:
“The Tiber once climbed so high that it washed a boat into this place; suddenly, however, the water sank, and where today the fountain stands, the boat remained lying. Michelangelo, who was supposed to make the drawing for the fountain, chose the motif of the stranded bark, and so one sees in the round basin a stone boat from which water springs”.