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Italy was the epitome of fountain making and design, and the oldest existing fountain still resides there in Trastevere. Although this fountain is not famous, and has no remarkable features differing from the popular well known fountains of Rome, it is none the less important for reasons we will discuss shortly.

This fountain features a simple square basin with the corner cut to create an octagonal shape.  It was crafted from a grayish-blue bardiglio marble. It features four large shells with coats of arms with four basins still in pristine condition. Finally the wolf’s mouths spouts are crafted from bronze creating a formidable focal point.

Now, let’s discuss the importance of this fountain. One of the oldest documents we have from Rome is a sketch containing a plan of Rome.  And on this sketch, dating to around c.1464, there is a drawing on this fountain.  This sketch gives us the fundamental planning of Rome. And this fountain, featuring four Latin inscriptions, is a further clue to the history of Rome.



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