It was a shame to come to Bologna and visit the main square without admiring its symbol, the Neptune! Now, after nearly two years of restoration works, starting from December 22, it is possible to admire it again! Thanks to the help of 150 skilled technicians and a new hydraulic system, the fountain gushes again as per original project of 450 years ago!
The bronze statue of Neptune is also called "the giant". It was finished in 1566 by a flamish artist named "Jean de Boulogne" called in Italian: "Gianbologna" and it the symbol of Papal power who ruled Emilia Romagna for more than 300 years while Neptune dominates the seas.
Although the carvings in Latin on the four sides of the Neptune base read: "built with public money for the square embellishment and for citizens" in 1605 the statue was surrounded by a fence to protect it from women who used to wash vegetables in the tank. This fence was kept until 1887.
In 1850 the Neptune's fountain was the center of Bologna public life. All the stands were settled in the ancient market.
The one below is a rare picture of that period:
Later on Piazza Maggiore is the place where the bus station was located. At the beginning only horses were used but during 20th Century also cars and busses called "trams" fed by electricity arrived in town.
Do you want to learn more about this fountain and Bologna history? You really have to plan your visit. There is a funny, unforgettable view of the Neptune that can be discovered only coming here!
If you decide to spend few days in Italy, please keep in touch with me by mail and I will be really happy to help you to customize your tour and show you around Bologna!