Rome Attractions

Fountain of the Tortoises

Fountain of the Tortoises

»High climbs the jet and, falling, fills / up to the brim the marble  rounds / that overflow in veils and frills, / into a second basin’s grounds; / the second, now too rich, forsakes, / its waves and on the third one spills / and equally it gives and takes / and stirs and stills.«
The graceful Fountain of the Tortoises (Fontana delle Tartarughe in Italian), »tortoise fountain«, is a beautiful example of the fountains of Rome described in 1882 by Conrad Ferdinand Meyer in the poem The Roman Fountain.

Fountain of the Tortoises

The Fontane delle Tartarughe (The Turtle Fountain) is a fountain of the late Italian Renaissance, located in Piazza Mattei, in the Sant’Angelo district of Rome, Italy.

It was created from 1581 to 1584 by Taddeo Landini, a sculptor from Florence, according to sketches by Giacomo della Porta. A foundation decorated with four sea shells rises from the basin. Four youths – slim, playful lads with uplifted arms – carry a large bowl over their heads. The tortoises sitting on the edge of the bowl were added in the 17th century.