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Fontana dell'Acqua Paola, Rome

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The Fontana dell'Acqua Paola also known as Il Fontanone is a monumental fountain located on the Janiculum Hill, near the church of San Pietro in Montorio, in Rome, Italy. It was built in 1612 to mark the end of the Acqua Paola aqueduct, restored by Pope Paul V, and took its name from him. It was the first major fountain on the right bank of the River Tiber.HistoryThe Fontana dell'Acqua Paola was inspired by the popularity of the Fontana dell'Acqua Felice, built in 1585-88 by Pope Sixtus V. Pope Paul V decided to rebuild and extend the ruined Acqua Traiana aqueduct built by the Emperor Trajan in order to create a source of clean drinking water for the residents of the Janiculum Hill, who were forced to take their water from brackish springs or from the polluted Tiber. He raised funds for his project in part by imposing a tax upon wine, which caused complaints among some residents. The funding from this tax and other sources allowed him to purchase the rights to the water of a spring near Lake Bracciano, not far from Rome, as the source for the fountain.The fountain was designed by Giovanni Fontana, whose brother had worked on the Fontana dell'Acqua Felice, and Flaminio Ponzio. They used white marble from the nearby ruins of the Roman Temple of Minerva in the Forum of Nerva, and constructed a massive gateway of five arches for the arrival of the water. At the top of the fountain are the papal tiara and keys, above the Borghese family coat of arms of an eagle and a dragon, supported by angels. The inscription praises Pope Paul in poetic terms for bringing water to the residents of the district.
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Fontana dell'Acqua Paola Reviews
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  • August 18, 2017
    At the foot of the Hill of Gianicolo, a "mini Trevi Fountain" with, as a bonus, an unforgettable panorama. A real favorite, unexpected. Enjoy to freshen up before and after the rise of the Janiculum Hill.
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  • August 17, 2017
    Long walk by the time a man reaches to the Janiculum Hill, but it's worth it. The fountain is amazing, and there is not a lot of tourists, you can sit down, hand belelógatni the water. The beautiful view of the city from the Hill.
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  • August 13, 2017
    Worth the hike up a steep hill to visit a beautiful and QUIET fountain in Rome. Lovely in the heat to dip your toes in the water to cool down. The view over Rome is great. Much prefer this to Trevi or...  more »

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Where to stay in Rome

For easy foot access to most of the city's main historical sites, consider staying in Rome's old town center. The area is conveniently placed for public transport, only a walk away from the city's main railway station. Accommodations here span all hotels sectors, from cheap hostels to luxury brand names. To avoid the steep prices and overcrowding of the town center, explore the hotels in the inner suburbs of Rome. They offer comfortable rooms and excellent food at a fraction of the price charged by the centrally located hotel chains. Another affordable option is the area around Vatican, which boasts a good selection of family-owned B&Bs.
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