Open Air Market at the Piazza Montanara
The former Piazza Montanara was an important location because it served as an open air market setting for workshops and architectural tools. Laborers would come up from their fields to find the tolls and necessary times they need for everyday life. Rustic workers would go there to find jobs working in fields or vineyards. It was moved when the square completely destroyed so the Via del Mare could be enlarged. The fountain was moved to the Park of the Orange Trees on Aventine Hill.
This Roman fountain, with its strange appearance, features a low basin that appears to struggle as it supports the copies of the civic crest and the tall baluster that is adorned with four large masks that spout water. The finial is a rough and round heavy bowl. There is a circle of posts and iron railing surrounding the fountain.
The architect for this new fountain was actually not Jacopo della Porta for once, because the present fountain was built for the Piazza Montanara in 1696. The Roman Monastery of St. Ambrose, was given an ounce of water on eh condition an upper basin was added to the original fountain, at the expense of the monastery.
What did the old fountain look like then? A payment statement for Pietro Gucci in 1589, stated the following, “30 scudi on account of the basin of the fountain in Piazza Montanara which he is to make in travertine stone, as ordered by Master Jacopo della Porta”. Whoever wrote this document about the addition of the upper basin, also added a watercolor of the new fountain, which on the opposite side, and has the image of the current fountain.
The place for which the fountain was intended dealt with severe poverty, so this fountain was most likely paid for by private citizens. It is the most modest of all the della Porta fountains built for public use, a document suggests that, "Master Jacomo della Porta Architect shall have fully completed the fountain in Piazza Montanara and properly supplied it with water to serve the poor."