Old Monterano: Palazzo Altieri, Lion Fountain

Although the Altieri family never lived permanently in Monterano, preferring instead their country residence of the Oriolo Palace, to them we owe much of all that can still be admired today. The great Gian Lorenzo Bernini, called by the family, who had now acquired the fiefs of Monterano, Oriolo and Veiano, actually renovated the façade of the Ducal Palace, added the two square and round towers connected by a splendid loggia with six arches and, above all, gave life at the Lion’s Falls, the fountain at the foot of the Palace. The architect gave shape to an idea typical of his thought, in which art and nature blend harmoniously. He thus used the rocky foundations of the site and built a fountain at the base of the steep wall beautifully set in the surrounding natural background. On the top of the wall and just above the fountain he placed a statue representing a lion in the act of shaking the rock with a paw to make the water flow out: from here, the jet flowed down into the fountain basin. Today, the lion statue is housed in the Town Hall of Canale Monterano, while a faithful reproduction can now be seen in the original place.

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