18th Panel

THE FOUNTAIN OF ROMA’S SQUARE

The Fountain of Roma’s Square is placed on the south-west side of the central square of Bienno and for this reason it was conceived as a monumental fountain.
Roma’s Square is the heart of the old town centre; the eighteenth-century Tempini Palace overlooks it on the east side and the Bettoni House overlooks it on the north one; this square is well preserved in its seventeenth-century characters, on the right of which, just behind it, you find one of the most beautiful Renaissance palaces of the Camonica Valley area, while on the left there is the medieval essence of the square with the complex of the Rizzieri Tower and a little behind the fourteenth-century residences, that show the typical courtyard consisting of coupled portals with stone flight of steps and finally on the west side there is the continuous faade of other seventeenth-century buildings with large open balconies.
The very first building of this west side was the town hall of Bienno; the granite cippus in its corner is a fragment of a Roman milestone and as refers to it Monsignor Andrea Morandini in its book “Bienno in the History and the Art”, it served as a chair for the orators who spoke to the population.
The fountain, of a typical nineteenth-century style, consists of a high circular base with a flaring basin that follows the pattern and ends with a rounded edge. There are preserved two pairs of irons in it that support the buckets. At the centre of the basin a cippus rises with a circular base, that develops by a decoration with aquatic loafs and ends with a frame with opposing carved volutes. The crone at the top of the cippus has been inserted after the destruction of the big swan, which was destroyed at the beginning of the twentieth century. In its original form, the fountain is well documented in the design of the project dated 1844 and preserved in the archives of the Municipality of Bienno.