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Strolling in Siena between water and fountains

The search of the legendary Diana River gave origin to a timeless search, which originated the Bottini system. (inserire link interno al primo post) A network of 25 kilometers galleries underneath the town that directs the waters’ flow into the several fountains scattered throughout the town that we seriously advise you to visit, less you are claustrophobic, they are 1,80 mt high and 0,90 cm large.

Piazza del Campo with its Fonte Gaia is just a magnificent example, but, as usual, we advise you to explore the Contradas, since each of them has its own fountain, which bears the symbol of that part of the city and which is used every year to celebrate baptisms: one of the most famous to visit is the fountain of the Onda, with the sleek dolphin. Fountains are not only a way of having fresh and pure water in every corner of the town but also a place to meet friends, especially in the Contradas, where the secrets of the “Contradaioli” are a serious affair!

The fountains of each district are notable for their different styles and the expression of the different character of the various areas of the city.

Fonte Gaia

The Fonte Gaia stays quite in the middle of the square, 321 mt up the sea level. The legend says that in 1346, when it was founded, people were so happy that their jubilation gave the name to the fountain, Gaia as Happyness. Fonte Gaia is considered the "queen of the fountains of Siena". The panels of the fountain, created by Jacopo della Quercia between 1409 and 1419, are considered an example of the Italian sculpture of that period. Today, "I'll see you at the fountain," is often said, and everyone knows that means meet at the fountain in front of the most famous and easy to find in the city.

Fonte Branda

Cited by Dante in the thirtieth Canto of Inferno, Fontebranda is the most popular, the most ancient and the most impressive among the sources of Siena. Fontebranda dates back to 1081. It is made of brick and travertine with three large arches surmounted by pediments. The top has a beautiful battlements and a row of small blind arches with triangular motifs. On the walls, there are four fountains in the shape of a lion. In the past, the three large tanks had three different functions: the first contained the drinking water, the second was used for watering the animals, and the third served as a washtub.

The water has a nice transparency with green hues that are beautiful to behold when reflected on the times. Above the source, on the back, a short distance away, stands the imposing Basilica of San Domenico. If you want to explore more, just ask to our staff, we will be glad to give you some special hints!

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