Fontana dell’Acqua Paola

Trastevere & Gianicolo

Featured in the opening scene of Paolo Sorrentino's Oscar-winning La grande bellezza (The Great Beauty; 2013), this monumental white fountain with its thundering water was built in 1612 to celebrate the restoration of a 2nd-century aqueduct that supplied (and still supplies) water from Lago di Bracciano, 35km north of Rome. Four of the fountain’s six columns are made from pink stone and came from the facade of the old St Peter’s Basilica, while much of the marble was pillaged from the Roman Forum.

Originally the fountain had five small basins, but these were replaced by a large granite basin, added by Carlo Fontana, in 1690.