Started in April 2015 and completed last January, the restoration works performed on the Fontana dei Leoni have enhanced the enchanting heart of the scenographic piazza del Popolo.
After 20 years from the last restoration occurred around 1997-1998, when the monumental complex of the piazza was converted to a pedestrian area, the conservation state of the fountain wasn’t very good. The deterioration of the four basins was mainly caused by the exposition to the atmospheric agents and pollutions. Moreover, the surfaces were affected by the development of yellow-orange coats of filth and they had became ruined and smoothed, also due to the improper use of the lions and several acts of vandalism.
The present aspect of the whole piazza was designed according to a project begun around 1811 by Giuseppe Valadier (Rome, 1762 – 1839) and carried on thanks also to the contribution of French architects during the Napoleon’s years. The new fountain was developed around the Egyptian obelisk, called obelisco Flaminio, already erected there in 1589 by pope Sisto V. At the four corners of the basement staircase, Valadier conceived round basins made of Travertine, dominated by white marble lions in Egyptian-style, whose open mouths let spectacular fans of water flow.
The arrangement works were accomplished around 1828, when the piazza appeared in all its magnificence, showing a large elliptical plan centered by the Fontana dei Leoni, in a harmonious integration between architecture and nature.