Siena, Italy

Fountain of Fontebranda

Cited by Dante in the thirtieth canto of his Inferno, Fontebranda is the oldest and the most famous of the numerous fountains in Siena. And it is also the richest in water: besides quenching the thirst of the city, it enabled the functioning of the mills and gave work to tanners and dyers of clothes in the Art of wool.

Rebuilt in 1246, right under the Basilica of San Domenico, it has an imposing appearance.

In the first basin, as was the case with the main Medieval fountains of Siena, one could obtain drinking water, while the second basin was utilised as a watering place for animals and the third, even lower, as a toilet.

Besides its historical importance, Fontebranda is famous because it is linked to the birthplace of Saint Catherine of Siena.