Water gushes in the city of Perugia thanks to its numerous fountains, and we propose an original itinerary to admire their beauty and discover their history.
Urban Trekking in Perugia - Urban Trekking in Perugia
Urban trekking in Perugia, the tour of the fountains
From Viale Indipendenza, at the height of Via Marzia, enter the Rosa Cecilia Caselli Moretti Gardens dedicated to the nearby famous stained-glass studio. Strolling under horse chestnuts and holm oaks, you will arrive at the Neptune Fountain. Built by engineer Filippo Lardoni in 1854, the fountain was moved here from Piazza del Sopramuro, today Piazza Matteotti, in 1885. On the right you can also see the Church of Sant'Ercolano and the Etruscan gate incorporated into the Rocca Paolina, the next destination of this walk.
Go ahead and climb the steps of Sant'Ercolano. When you reach the top, turn left and take Via Fioramonti. When you reach Via Marzia, you will find the Fonte Lomellina, leaning against the wall of the Rocca Paolina. It is a family jewel in travertine, built for the community by the papal legate Lorenzo Lomellini between 1678 and 1685. After the latest restoration, the Lomellini family motto inscribed in the coat of arms was brought to light: 'Manet avita virtus', or 'The valour of the ancestors remains'. From there you can enjoy a splendid view and, as the plaque reminds us, the water is drinkable.
Walk up Via Marzia, keeping to the right (Via Baglioni) to reach Piazza Italia, the first important square in the city from which you can access the heart of the historic centre. In the centre of the square are small gardens with benches that are excellent for relaxing and enjoying the beauty of two fountains with two bronze statues in the centre, the Sirena and the Bimba al sole, by the Tuscan artist Arturo Checchi.
From the square, your gaze will be attracted by the evocative view of Corso Vannucci, the city's main street, which already reveals the Fontana Maggiore, a masterpiece of medieval sculpture and symbol of the city. You are in Piazza IV Novembre, between the Cathedral of San Lorenzo and Palazzo dei Priori. It was built between 1278 and 1280 by two great sculptors: Nicola and Giovanni Pisano. The fountain was the arrival point for water from the Monte Pacciano aqueduct. The two marble basins are decorated with 50 bas-reliefs and 24 statues, which must be admired carefully. Try to identify your zodiac sign.
If you are sitting on the steps of the cathedral, on your right you will see Via Maestà delle Volte leading down to the fountain of the same name. Built in 1928 to a design by Pietro Angelini. Its name recalls a Maestà frescoed in 1297 by an anonymous artist. The griffin sculpted in the central panel of the basin represents the symbol of the city. The water is drinkable. A curiosity, the latest restoration was carried out at the wish of one of the daughters of entrepreneur Brunello Cucinelli, who asked guests to make a contribution to the restoration work on the occasion of her wedding.
Proceeding to Piazza Cavallotti, turn left onto Via della Stella, which leads to Via dei Priori. Descend to the right, past the Sciri Tower to enter Via del Piscinello, near the Church of San Francesco al Prato. Descend a few metres and you will be in the presence of one of Perugia's oldest fountains: the Fontana del Piscinello, built in 1258. The medieval inscription reads: 'Let no filth be thrown in here, nor any cloth washed. Watch over the law'. According to tradition, its name derives from an episode in 1482, when during a bloody fight between the Baglioni and Oddi families, a trickle of blood from the street reached the fountain, colouring it red.
Walk up towards Piazza Cavallotti and turn right along Via panoramica Cesare Battisti until you reach the Fonte dell'Arco Etrusco (Etruscan Arch Fountain). It was built in 1621 at the foot of the left tower of the Etruscan gate, in Piazza Braccio Fortebraccio, commissioned by Count Girolamo Tezi. Here, you can stop and quench your thirst with the water flowing from the spring, look up and enjoy the iconic Arco Etrusco, the city's most important gate, and the late Baroque beauty of Palazzo Gallenga, home of the University for Foreigners of Perugia.