Tivoli, Italy

Fountain of Ovato


Pirro Ligorio designed the Fontana dell'Ovato, also known as theFontana di Tivoli. It takes its name from its unique shape, resulting from a circular exedra in which a basin, which receives water from above, is designed to be an allegory of the Tivoli waterfall, while the rocks at the top of the fountain are the Tiburtini mountains - from which the three rivers flow, Aniene, Erculaneo and Albuneo, in turn symbolized by three statues.

On the sides of the Sibilla Albunea, who is holding the hand of his son Melicerte, symbol of Tivoli, there are indeed the statues of the Aniene and the Erculaneo, placed inside two artificial caves.

The seabed of the basin is a nymphaeum hemicycle with niches that contain ten nymphs who pour water from vases. At the centre of the basin there is a large shell with open valves.