Fontana Maggiore 

Fountain in Perugia

Fontana Maggiore, Perugia
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Monica

Boninsegna Veneziano achieved a remarkable feat of hydraulics, making water flow uphill without pumps. By using a forced pressure duct, he channeled water from Monte Pacciano to the acropolis of Perugia through a new aqueduct. In 1275, fra Bevignate da Cingoli built the Great Fountain to celebrate this engineering marvel.

Construction and Design: The fountain, crafted from stones sourced from Assisi, was preassembled in a workshop and transported to the square in sections. It consists of two concentric polygonal marble basins, topped by a bronze cup holding a group of nymphs spouting water.

Lower Basin: The lower basin features 25 mirrored panels, each divided into two tiles that depict the signs of the Zodiac, reflecting the medieval fascination with astrology and the heavens.

Upper Basin: The upper basin is adorned with 24 statues representing saints, mythological, and biblical figures. Notable figures include:

  • Augusta Perugia: Personified with a cornucopia, symbolizing the city’s abundance and offering wheat.
  • Domina Iacus: The nymph of Lake Trasimeno, holding fish, representing the lake’s bounty.
  • Saints Peter and Paul, and John the Baptist: Important religious figures who imbue the fountain with sacred significance.

Inscriptions: In the lowest frame of the fountain, an inscription in Italian invites passersby to appreciate the fountain’s beauty: “Look, you who pass by this fountain with its bubbling, if you look closer you can see wonderful things.”

The Great Fountain stands as a testament to Perugia’s rich history of engineering and artistic achievement, blending practical hydraulics with exquisite artistry. It remains a focal point in the city, captivating visitors with its intricate design and symbolic figures.

The Fontana Maggiore  appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Perugia!

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Visiting Fontana Maggiore 


24 Hours



Address: Fontana Maggiore, Piazza IV Novembre, Perugia, Province of Perugia, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes

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