Adjoining Piazza Maggiore is the smaller Piazza Nettuno. The centrepiece of the square is the Fontana del Nettuno - a fountain featuring a bronze statue of Neptune, God of the Sea. The fountain was constructed in the mid-16th century, and along with Neptune there are four cherubs, and four mermaid-looking creatures who have water spouting forth from their breasts.
On the eastern side of the square is the Palazzo del Re Enzo. It was named after King Enzo from Sicily, who was banished to the palazzo for 20 years in the 13th century. These days the palace is only open to the public when it is used for exhibitions.
Fontana di Nettuno is the centerpiece at the centro storico's (historical center) Piazza di Nettuno. Sculpted by Giambologna in 1566, it is a vivid bronze representation of one of Roman mythology's most artistically portrayed gods. Beneath the water god's feet are four cherubs representing the winds and at the base, four shapely sirens with water flowing from their breasts.
More than just a tourist attraction and an obvious subject for shutter-happy tourists, the fountain is a gathering point for many social and political events in Bologna, long considered one of Italy's most political cities (former PM Prodi hails from the city). At the time of my visit, there was a massive student protest which was well-covered by local and national media.
Piazza Nettuno is the place to hang out. Sit on the steps of what I think is the Municipal Library (wonderful! go inside! see that scary floor!) -- and talk with everyone. Quite an upbeat crowd, no poseurs here, a sort of May 68 atmosphere with a Gothic touch.
A popular meeting point for Bolognesi, specially for students.
In order to make room for this statue and to the square bearing the same name, in 1564 a whole block of houses was pulled down, between d'Accursio Palace and King Enzo Palace.
The statue was designed by Tommaso Laureti, from Palermo. It is adorned the with sculptures by the Flemish artist Jean Boulogne de Douai, called Giambologna.
The fountain of Neptune is situated in square Neptune, in the centre of Bologna near Major square. It was built by Flemish sculptor Jean Boulogne, know as Giambologna, and fused in bronze in the 1563.
The original drawing was work of painter Tommaso Laureti and represent the God of the sea surrounded by little monsters, cupids, shells and sirens. In the 1565 a decree established the demolition of a entire block to make place at the work which today represent one of the meeting place more frequented and important. In the 1603 were put up around it a fence of iron and four tub of marble and one of this that was removed with the others in the 1888, it’s been restore of recent.
One of the symbols of Bologna, the giant statue of the god Neptune, Nettuno in Italian, crowns a fountain of sculptures in the centre of Piazza del Nettuno. Completed in 1567, the fountain was commissioned by Cardinal Carlo Borromeo who assigned the project to the architect Tommaso Laureti. However, it was the sculptor Jean Boulogne (known as Giambologna or Giovanni da Bologna), famous for the sculpture of the Rape of the Sabine Women in Florence, who created the celebrated bronze statue of Nettuno to top Laureti's design. Locally referred to as il Gigante (the Giant), the god Neptune stands majestically above delightful sculptures of cherubs and nereids with four water spouts representing the major rivers of four continents.
It's odd. Great works of art somehow look like great works of art. Well, usually, anyway.
So it is that the Fontana di Nettuno, the famous Neptune fountain from the 16th century (1566 to be precise) was designed by Tommaso Laurent though it's Giambologna's magnificent bronze figures that catch the eye.
There's a certain power about Neptune that dominates the via dell'Indipendenza as it runs into Piazza Maggiore, one of the main focal points of Bologna.
Adjacent to Palazzo del Podesta on Piazza del Nettuno is Palazzo del Re Enzo, another medieval palace built in the 13th century. It is named after King Enzo, the illegitimate son of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II (he wasn't holy after all!). Papal forces held King Enzo in this palace between 1249-1272. Closed to the public, the only option available to tourists it to take pictures of the palace from the outside, which makes for a fitting background to the Fontana di Nettuno.
The Palace was officially opened in 1564. it is located between Palazzo Comunale and Palazzo Re Enzo and connected to Piazza Maggiore. Right in front of it, in the square's centre, stands Fontana del Nettuno, one of the most famous works of Art of Bologna.
In the background, right in between the two palaces, stands Torre dell'Arengo rising 47 meters up in the sky. The tower was built in the 13th century and it almost seems that it sit on the porticos of Voltone of Palazzo del Podesta. In the mid of the 15th century the tower housed a very heavy bell called Campanazzo.
“For Bologna it is alright.” — Pope Pius IV (1499–1565)
GRANTING PERMISSION The Holy Father is referring to the bulging muscle mass that is Giambologna’s Neptune at what is one of Bologna’s signature sights, la Fontana di Nettuno.
Born in Douai, Flanders, now part of France, Jean Boulogne (1529-1608) was concerned that his creation would not meet with the approval of the man it was meant to honor. Future saint, Charles Cardinal Borromeo, the Papal Legate in Bologna, commssioned the fountain to celebrate the 1559 election of his uncle, Giovanni Angelo Medici as Pope Pius IV. Tommaso Laureti designed the fountain, completed in 1565; Nettuno was added two years later.
When Pius gave his approval he acknowledged the liberal outlook on life for which Bologna has long been known.
The fountain gives its name to Piazza Nettuno, which borders Piazza Maggiore and Palazzo Comunale.
Sala Borsa is the city multimedia and general information library which every day provides users of all ages with books, newspapers, magazines, videos, CD's along with cabled and wi-fi internet connections. Access to the library is free . It is place to go and find a history of Bologna, from its early days up to today. Biblioteca Sala Borsa is cultural and social heart of Bologna.
Sala Borsa was once home of the stock exchange and has also Roman ruins beneath which can be viewed through the glass panels in the floor.
The interior has beautiful balconnies and the ceilling.
Resembling a defensive castle, il Palazzo Re Enzo dominates Piazza del Nettuno. It is adjacent to Palazzo del Podestà, and was in fact built in 1245 as its extension and first called Palatium Novum, i.e. "New Palace". However, shortly after its construction, Enzo of Sardinia, son of Emperor Frederick II, was captured by the Guelphs and imprisoned within the palace, so thereafter the palace became known by his name. In 1259, the tower, Torre dell'Arengo, was erected above Voltone del Podestà, a vaulted passageway between the two palaces. The tower carries the largest bell in Bologna, once used to summon the population during major events.
Sitting in the middle of Piazza Nettuno is the famous Neptune fountain. The statue in the middle of the fountain is commonly known in Bologna as the ”Giant“ and it represents Neptune appeasing the rage of the sea. The fountain was designed in 1566 by Tommaso Laureti and is decorated with magnificent bronze figures of dolphins and mermaids by Giambologna.
This fountain from XVI century is another symbol of the City. It's masterpiece of Flamish sculptor Jean Boulogne, known as "Il Giambologna". In the background is Pallazo Re Enzo, built in XIII century and it was, for 23 years, the prison of King Enzo, the son of Frederic II.
The wide street connecting Piazza Maggiore with Piazza del Nettuno is graced by an enormous fountain, the Fontana del Nettuno. The fountain, built in 1566, has bronze statuary by a Flemish sculptor, Jean Boulogne de Douai, who became so famous for the job he was nicknamed 'Giambologna'. A massive figure of Neptune stands on top of the fountain, trident in hand. Neptune is attended by four angels, symbolising the four winds, and four sirens - gleefully watching water spouting from their own breasts - representing the four continents known to the Renaissance world.