Barcaccia restoration in Piazza di Spagna

Fountain among several in Rome being restored with advertising money

The Barcaccia fountain at the foot of the Spanish Steps is currently sealed off for restoration. Experts say that the early baroque fountain is currently in a poor state due to a build-up of limescale deposits.

The restoration will cost €210,000 and will be finished by June next year. The fountain is among several in Rome being restored between 2012 and 2015, with funds generated by advertising.

The Barcaccia was commissioned by the Barberini pope Urban VIII (1623-1644), allegedly inspired by a boat brought there by a flood of the Tiber. The travertine fountain was built in 1626-29 and is accredited to Pietro Bernini, father of the more famous Gian Lorenzo who possibly contributed to the monument's decoration along with stonemason Battista Bancozzi.

The fountain was restored in the 18th century, the early 19th century and twice in the late 20th century.

Other Rome fountains on the current list for restoration include the Tritone Fountain in Piazza Barberini, the Lion fountain in Piazza del Popolo, and the fountain in Piazza Trilussa in Trastevere.

Advertising displayed on the hoarding around the monuments is funding the cost of the works.

Photo Il Messaggero