The Fonte della Docciola, located near the homonymous gate in Volterra, is a source of great historical relevance. Its water comes from the pure source of "Mandringa" and gushes into a large stone basin surmounted by elegant Gothic arches. The fountain is adorned with stone inscriptions, one of which bears the name of its builder, Master Stefano.
An interesting detail is the inscription of a verse by D'Annunzio taken from his work "Forse che si forse che no", which mentions the fountain and its role in laundry washing. The fountain was a vital point for the city, providing water for washing and powering mills used by the Wool Guild in the Middle Ages.
To reach the fountain, you can take a staircase with 251 steps, built in 1933, or access it directly from the Docciola parking lot, in front of the homonymous gate. This road is still called "Via delle scalette di Docciola" by the people of Volterra. The structure is supported by two Gothic stone arches dating back to the 13th century and features three crosses on its facade.
The engraved inscription on the facade provides information about the origin and author of this magnificent work. A channel dug into the pavement leads to a drainage point, allowing excess water to flow outside the walls and feed an additional basin, ensuring water supply even when the gate was closed.
The history of the Fonte della Docciola dates back at least to 1224, when it was mentioned in the statutes of the Municipality of Volterra. However, it is evident that the fountain existed before that date. The Docciola gate, located in front of the fountain, was incorporated into the medieval city walls sometime after the construction of the fountain itself. In the 15th century, due to population decline, the gate was walled up but was reopened only in the 19th century.