The huge fountain that pretty much fills the Piazza Pretoria is commonly referred to as the “Fountain of Shame” due to the nude statues that surround the fountain. This moniker dates back to the 1500s when the fountain was installed in an effort to keep up with Palermo’s rival city of Messina for top city on the island. The fountain was originally designed for a villa in Tuscany for the father-in-law of Cosimo de’Medici.
The fountain was designed by Francesco Camilliani and is in the High Renaissance – Mannerist style, as Camilliani was a fan of Michelangelo. In the center of the fountain is a great basin with more than 50 statues around it. These Carrara marble statues are mythological creatures such as tritons, monsters, sirens, and harpies as well as the four rivers of Palermo (Oreto, Papiereto, Kemonia, and Gabriele). At the top of the fountain is the Genius of Palermo, which has the body of a young healthy king but the face of an old man.
The fountain was one of my must-see items for Palermo but I was disappointed in its decay and lack of care. The Piazza Pretoria is surrounded by what appear to be dilapidated abandoned buildings and adds to the overall impression of an area that is deteriorating. There is a fence surrounding the fountain so it was difficult to get a good view and photos of the fountain. Overall, a big disappointment.
This is one of the landmarks which thankfully has had a long overdue overhaul. It was originally intended for Firenze in the middle 1500s, and at it unveiling the nude figures saw it dubbed '"The Fountain of Shame" . A great square where a few people congregate some evenings, unlike the Piazza Garibaldi with it's crowds
This wonderful sixteenth-century fountain can be found in the center of the square carrying the same name. It was built by the Florentine sculptor Francesco Camilliani, and originally decorated the garden of a villa in Tuscany. It was then purchased by the city of Palermo, dismantled and rebuilt in Piazza Pretoria.
The fencing around the fountain, designed by Giovan Battista Basile, was built in 1858
It was created for the Florentine villa of Don Pedro di Toledo by the mennerist sculptor Francesco Camilliani in 1554.
The Council of Palermo got the exorbitant price of 30,000 scudi for it.
It was transported to Palermo in 644 pieces and it was reassembled in Pretoria square, which was laid out in a different way in relation to the monumental fountain.
It is a circular fountain and is decorated with allegorical statues.
The surrounding railing was designed by Giovan Battista Basile and put there in 1858.