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Fonte Gaia

Some of the 14th-century’s most impressive bas-relief statues decorate a public fountain in the Piazza del Campo with religious and mythological meaning.

In a city famous for its fountains, Fonte Gaia stands apart. While on a tour of Piazza del Campo’s many attractions, take a few moments to visit the Fonte Gaia and appreciate the quiet that reigns around this masterpiece. 

The statues adorning the fountain made the reputation of the sculptor who created it, Jacopo della Quercia, who, after 1419, was called “Jacopo della Fonte.” Standing in the middle of the Piazza del Campo, the fountain was the latest iteration of a series that had been installed since 1346. Today, the fountain in the square is a 19th-century reproduction, with what remains of the original in the Museum of Santa Maria della Scala.

Come to the Fonte Gaia prepared with knowledge of both Roman mythology and Catholic symbolism, because references abound in the white marble. Admire the unusual shape, which is likened to a throne or seat. Start with the side reliefs, each telling a story from Genesis. Notice the depiction of the flight from the Garden of Eden next to a wolf-shaped spout that references the wolf that suckled Romulus and Remus.

Save time to truly appreciate the central figure of Mary, however, who combines traditional Catholic iconography with depictions of ancient Roman virtues. Imagine the statues of Accra Larentis and Rhea Silvia that once stood at the corners. These were the first female nudes to stand in a public place since the end of the Roman Empire. Think about the incredible engineering that brought water here from 15 miles (25 kilometers) away, through underground passages known as bottini. 

The Fonte Gaia is located in the Piazza del Campo, the civic and cultural center of the city of Siena dominated by the Palazzo Pubblico. Travel here from the train station in 30 minutes on foot or 15 minutes by bus or car. The Duomo is about a 5-minute walk away. Several metered parking lots, often underground, provide parking for the historic center, but many of the streets are closed to vehicles. 

The piazza is open to visitors at all hours. See the fountain beautifully illuminated at night.


Best Lodging Options Near Fonte Gaia

See all 2,932 Properties near Fonte Gaia
NH Siena $89
NH Siena

NH Siena

Piazza La Lizza 1, Siena, SI
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Siena Historical Center, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Stadio Artemio Franchi and Monte dei Paschi. University of Siena and Piazza del Campo are also within 10 minutes. Siena Station is 21 minutes by foot.

    Grand Hotel Continental Siena – Starhotels Collezione $184
    Grand Hotel Continental Siena – Starhotels Collezione

    Grand Hotel Continental Siena – Starhotels Collezione

    Banchi Di Sopra 85, Siena, SI
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      This family-friendly Siena hotel is located in the historical district, within a 5-minute walk of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Piazza del Campo, and University of Siena. Siena Cathedral and Santa Maria alle Scotte Polyclinic are also within 3 mi (5 km). Siena Station is 22 minutes by foot.

      Hotel Athena $77
      Hotel Athena

      Hotel Athena

      P Mascagni 55, Siena, SI
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Siena Historical Center, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Siena Cathedral, Siena Baptistry, and Palazzo Pubblico. Piazza del Campo and Civic Museum are also within 10 minutes.

        Villa del Sole $102
        Villa del Sole

        Villa del Sole

        Via del Sole 6a, Siena, SI
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Siena Historical Center, this townhouse accommodation is within a 5-minute walk of San Martino, Basilica di Santa Maria dei Servi, and Piazza del Campo. Civic Museum and Palazzo Pubblico are also within 5 minutes.

          Hotel Palazzetto Rosso $147
          Hotel Palazzetto Rosso

          Hotel Palazzetto Rosso

          Via dei Rossi, 38-42, Siena
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Siena Historical Center, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena and University of Siena. Piazza del Campo and Siena Cathedral are also within 10 minutes. Siena Station is 22 minutes by foot.

            Quattro Cantoni $54
            Quattro Cantoni

            Quattro Cantoni

            Via San Pietro 30, Siena, SI
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Siena Historical Center, this bed & breakfast is within a 5-minute walk of Pinacoteca Nazionale, Piazza del Campo, and Siena Cathedral. University of Siena and Santa Maria alle Scotte Polyclinic are also within 3 mi (5 km).

              Piccolo Hotel Etruria $53
              Piccolo Hotel Etruria

              Piccolo Hotel Etruria

              Via delle Donzelle, 3, Siena
                 
                2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Siena Historical Center, this hotel is steps from Palazzo Piccolomini, Piazza del Campo, and University of Siena. Siena Cathedral and Santa Maria alle Scotte Polyclinic are also within 3 mi (5 km). Siena Station is 25 minutes by foot.

                La Terrazza sul Campo $92
                La Terrazza sul Campo

                La Terrazza sul Campo

                Via di Città 65, Siena
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Siena Historical Center, this residence is steps from Palazzo Chigi-Saracini, Piazza del Campo, and Siena Cathedral. University of Siena and Santa Maria alle Scotte Polyclinic are also within 3 mi (5 km). Siena Station is 27 minutes by foot.