Pretoria Fountain

Province of Palermo

Pretoria Fountain has a very interesting story and it is also known as the Fountain of Shame because of all the nude statues.

The Pretoria Fountain is by far one of the most magnificent fountains in Italy. In the heart of Palermo, in lovely Piazza Pretoria, this fountain lays in the middle of two churches, Santa Caterina and San Giuseppe dei Teatini Church.  Also known as the Fountain of Shame because of all the nude statues, this fountain has a very interesting story. Initially, the Pretoria fountain was designed and built for the gardens of the Villa in Florence of the Spanish Nobelman Don Luigi Toledo in the mid 1500s. Built from Francesco Camilliani and Michelangelo Nacchrino, the fountain made up of 48 statues that represent mythologic figures and ‘puttis’ (chubby male children, usually nude and sometimes winged) made it to Palermo in 1575.

Pretoria Fountain body 1

Soon the fountain had to be sold though due to the high debts of the Florentine family. Fortunately  it was very easy to sell as it was already quite famous and was already considered a masterpiece all around Italy.

The Sicilian senate wanted it… they wanted it so much that to make space for the arrival of this fountain they even demolished people homes! The Palermitan’s reaction was loud – they were outraged by all the nude statues from this fountain.  With time they warmed up to the fountain and today they cherish this site with pride and make sure it is lit 24 hours for visitors to enjoy at all times.

Pretoria Fountain body 2

Admission Fee: free

Opening Time: 24 hours

Address: Piazza Pretoria

Tip: incorporate it into a walking tour while going from the Churches of San Cataldo and Martorana to the Quattro Canti intersection.

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