Posted by: debrakolkka | November 19, 2010

Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers

 Rome is full of beautiful Bernini sculptures, but I think the most impressive is the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi in the Piazza Navona.  Pope Innocent X commissioned a new church, palace and the fountain in the 17th century.  The rivers are the Nile, the Plate, the Ganges and the Danube.  Until the 19th century, the piazza was flooded in August by stopping the fountain outlets. The rich would splash about in carriages and street urchins would paddle – sounds like fun.

The fountain has been covered in scaffolding on my last few visits, so it was great to see it uncovered and looking like new.

Bernini's fountain


I wonder who the model was

not bad

Bernini's masterpeice

I tried to get the whole obelisk in the picture, but there was a giant crane in the background ruining the picture.


  1. Your pictures are wonderful and the sunny day surely helped!

  2. How exquisite. Do you suppose it’s sculpted from one piece of stone?

  3. Fabulous!

  4. And don’t miss Bernini’s efforts in the Galleria Borghese…Apollo and Daphne and of course, the Rape of Proserpina – Bernini could never resist setting a good sexual assault in stone!

    • I love the Galleria Borghese – I go there often and direct all my friends there. I love Bernini’s work. Another favourite is the elephant behind the Pantheon.

  5. Amazing huh 🙂

  6. I loved this fountain. It was in full view when I visited Rome in early June. The only downside about the fountain was the number of mosquitoes present. I couldn’t fully enjoy it not with being attacked by them every minute. The mosquitoes in Rome loved me.

    I walked to this Piazza nearly by accident as I was searching for Baffeto’s pizzeria. I instantly recognized the fountain from the movie “Angels and Demons.”

    Great post, brings back great memories.

    • I have managed to avoid the mosquitoes. I am never in Rome in the summer – and I will keep your experience in mind.

      • Not including the town you live in, what is your favorite piazza in Italy?
        My favorite would be the Il Campo in Siena. I like how there is a wide open space to sit or lay and people watch. It seemed very simplistic and void of a lot of tourist traps, unlike the Piazzo Duomo in Florence.

  7. I love the Campo in Siena – it would be a favourite. St Mark’s in Venice is pretty good. I was there one afternoon when it turned dark under storm clouds and fierce winds and pouring rain desended on the square. Ten minutes later the sun came out and everything was bathed in a golden light. Piazza Signoria in Florence is very grand. There are also lots of tiny squares that are delightful. I don’t think i can pick one favourite.

  8. My goodness that is magnificent! I must, must, must make it to Italy this coming year or two!

  9. Bellini…Bernini…all I can think of is a little peach cocktail while marvelling at Italian sculptures…(note to self buy peaches.)

  10. It was nice to be able to actually see the fountain this year, instead of the crane and Plexiglas! Great Photos!

  11. […] Piazza di Spagna, Via Condotti, Via Babuino etc.  The streets around Campo dei Fiori and behind Piazza Navona also have interesting boutique shopping.  Via Coronari is one of the lovliest streets in Rome with […]

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