Located in the center of Piazza della Rotonda, Fontana del Pantheon enjoys the backdrop of one of the most reputed tourist landmarks of Rome: the Pantheon itself. The fountain was originally designed by Giacomo della Porta in 1575, on the commission of Pope Gregory XIII. Leonardo Sormani was the one who materialized the design of Giacomo Della Porta, meaning he was the one who sculpted the fountain and its original statuary.

The original marble basin and statuary were gradually removed. The first changes were made in 1711, under Pope Clement XI, who found it necessary to change the look of the 16th century fountain, by adding, in the center of the structure, on top of a travertine rock, the 6 meters tall obelisk of Ramses II (moved here from Piazza San Macuto, and originally part of the ancient patrimony of the Temple of Isis), surrounded, at the base, by four dolphins and four masks supported by a plinth. The designated architect was Filippo Barignoni, who also redesigned the basin, eventually carved, instead of marble, from stone. Apparently, Filippo Barignoni found his inspiration in redesigning the structure of Fontana del Pantheon in the previously built Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi in Piazza Navona, one of the monumental works of Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

The final changes were carried out in 1886, when the entire original statuary of the fountain was moved to the Museum of Rome. The originals were replaced with replicas carved by Luigi Amici: dolphins and masks from where the water sprouts. The four groups of dolphins and masks are complemented by sections (oriented to the north and to the south) decorated with the papal coat of arms and other related insignia: the papal tiara and keys.

Fontana del Pantheon (Fountain of the Pantheon)
Piazza della Rotonda, Rome, Italy