Fontana del Mascherone, meaning, the Big Mask Fountain, is one of the strangest looking fountains in Rome. This is not a free standing fountain, but it is attached to a wall, behind the Farnese Palace, in the very spot where Via Giulia starts. The fountain was designed in the first half of the 17th century, somewhere around 1626 (the authorship is attributed to Girolamo Rainaldi), and it was made of marble, granite and travertine, also featuring metallic insertions (such as the metal lily, the symbol of the Farnese family who, apparently, commissioned the construction of the fountain).

The water flows from the mouth of the mask, being collected by a small shell-shaped container. While at present, unlike the case of most of the other fountains in Rome, the water is not drinkable, the story goes the fountain used to sprout wine in the celebration days, a luxury the Farnese family would allow to indulge in on such festal occasions.

Fontana del Mascherone (Big Mask Fountain)
Via Giulia, Rome, Italy