Tarchna, Corneto, Tarquinia

The Tarquinia territory, one of the vastest in Italy, stretches from the shadowy woods of Viterbo all the way to the sunny beaches of the Tyrrhenian coast.
Throughout the centuries this land provided food and shelter to numerous peoples.
The present-day Tarquinia, with its pulsing vitality and in full expansion, is the living aspect of a constellation of other cities that died silently and whose traces can still be seen. In summer you can sunbathe on the local beaches and swim in the calm waters of the Tyrrhenian sea, but in any season you can enjoy the coast, the countryside, the woods. The city has a lot to offer at any time of the year.

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It consists of a large basin, covered with a barrel-vaulted ceiling and bordered on the bottom by a wall of “macco” which is embedded into the cliff for approximately 2m. The facade consists of six arches which are supported by squatted columns surmounted by capitals with a leaf motif. On the back wall, where the light shines through beneath each arch, lay the six waterspouts fed with water from a duct which ran behind the wall until it reached the underground pipelines. The fountain dates back to the time of Pope Honorius (1124-30) contemporarily with the nearby Santa Maria in Castello and it was originally known as the “Fontana Antica” (Ancient Fountain). Coming from within the city, one would pass through the Porta Falsa, also known as the Flower Gate, for a long walk along the ridge next to the cliffs which was called the Via Coperta, in order to reach the main water supply of the city. At the end of the 14th century the fountain was restructured and a washing trough was added, along with another basin utilized for soaking vegetables. Thus the name was changed to Fontana Nova (New Fountain). Usage of the Fountain was regulated in the “Statuti dell’Arte degli Ortolani” (1379). The Fountain was again cited in the “Statuti di Corneto” (1436), perhaps because it was in an abandoned state. In 1545 (Statuti) was entrusted to the city farmers and shoe makers upon the condition that they tended to the annual cleaning and maintenance of the fountain. Between the 16th and 17th centuries a cistern, or artificial reservoir was constructed on the left side of the fountain, which deviated the original flow of water, altering the usage of the fountain. With the closing of the Porta Falsa of the city in the 17th century and the consequential abandonment of the Via Coperta, the Fontana Nova fell into decline. In 1965 the Archaeological Group of Tarquinia began researching historical information relating to the fountain (Polidori, Croniche; Dasti, Notizie) and after having inspected the lengthy tract of former pipeline, decided to begin the restoration of Fontana Nova. In 1994 the Association of Fontana Nova finally completed the fountain restoration project and reconditioned the surrounding area.

Culture, History and Heritage

THE ETRUSCANS

THE ETRUSCANS

TARCHNA, CORNETO, TARQUINIA

TARCHNA, CORNETO, TARQUINIA

MAREMMA BETWEEN SEA AND NATURE

MAREMMA BETWEEN SEA AND NATURE

TARQUINIA, A LITERARY PLACE

TARQUINIA, A LITERARY PLACE

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Sleeping, Eating and What to Do
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