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Fontebranda

Once a center of social and economic life, this monumental 13th-century public fountain is a snapshot of the world of medieval Siena.

The Fontebranda was once not only an architectural marvel, but also a source of water for thousands of people living in the adjacent working-class district. Visit the Fontebranda to appreciate its huge size and impressive gothic architecture and to get a sense of what life was like in medieval Siena.

The current structure was built in 1246 as a way to get water to the woolworkers, tanners and dyers who made their wares in the neighborhood that would eventually become known as Fontebranda. The fountain quickly became an icon of the city, so much so that Dante mentions it in the Divine Comedy.

First notice the scale of the fountain, which stands out even in the fountain-rich city of Siena. Each basin was filled by the city’s underground tunnels, called bottini, which delivered water from the countryside, as much as 15 miles (25 kilometers) away. See how each basin is divided, with the first basin for drinking, the second for animals and the third for washing clothes. Imagine the district’s people coming up the hill for all their water needs, from a drink of water to water for bathing.

Step back a bit to gaze at the fountain’s crenellated roof, which makes it look almost like a castle. Sit by the basins and listen to the soft sound of the water. Look for the flash of color as golden carp swim by, new additions since the invention of indoor plumbing has allowed the fountain to let go of its more practical functions.

The Fontebranda is located below the Basilica di San Domenico, a bit northeast of the center of Siena. Walk from the Piazza del Campo in 4 minutes or from the Duomo in 6 minutes. Take the bus from the train station in 15 minutes, including an 8-minute stroll, or walk here directly in about 25 minutes. A metered three-story garage dedicated for basilica parking is located nearby.

Visit the fountain at any hour, though most art and sound installations take place only during the regular business day.

Top things to do in Fontebranda

Top Trending Hotels Near Fontebranda

Hotel Athena
Hotel Athena
4 out of 5
P Mascagni 55, Siena, SI
The price is £64 per night from 16 Dec to 16 Dec
Located in Siena Historical Center, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Siena Cathedral, Siena Baptistry and Palazzo Pubblico. Piazza del Campo and Civic ...
4.6/5 Wonderful! (962 reviews)
"Very nice hotel. My only gripe was that during breakfast the servers or kitchen staff were not always present to serve breakfast. There were 3 staff. and all of them were inside the kitchen and the person supposed to be serving the food was MIA. Guests waited standing for 5 min to get their breakfast. ..."

Reviewed on 21 Oct 2021

Hotel Athena
Grand Hotel Continental Siena – Starhotels Collezione
Grand Hotel Continental Siena – Starhotels Collezione
5 out of 5
Banchi Di Sopra 85, Siena, SI
The price is £200 per night from 6 Dec to 6 Dec
This family-friendly Siena hotel is located in the historical district, within a 5-minute walk of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena and Piazza del Campo. Santa ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (406 reviews)
"Stunning property and room. What a view. But very poor VIP service no room upgrade And we recieved an open bottle of wine with water inside. Didnt expect this service from a luxury hotel. Not sure whether i would recomend it."

Reviewed on 3 Oct 2021

Grand Hotel Continental Siena – Starhotels Collezione
NH Siena
NH Siena
4 out of 5
Piazza La Lizza 1, Siena, SI
The price is £67 per night from 19 Dec to 19 Dec
Located in Siena Historical Center, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Monte dei Paschi, Stadio Artemio Franchi and University of Siena. Piazza del Campo ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (941 reviews)
"Great location of the property. Hotel got busy day after we checked in. Nice staff. Clean room. Great breakfast. My only mistake was I chosed to make an adjustment and relocate our room in front or with a city view. It was nice but was noisy at night. But overall it's a nice hotel"

Reviewed on 17 Oct 2021

NH Siena
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Top Hotel Deals

Piazza Paradiso Accomodation
Piazza Paradiso Accomodation
Via di Stalloreggi, 38, Siena, SI
The price is £56 per night from 2 Dec to 2 Dec
Piazza Paradiso Accomodation
Hotel Athena
Hotel Athena
4 out of 5
P Mascagni 55, Siena, SI
The price is £64 per night from 16 Dec to 16 Dec
Hotel Athena
Grand Hotel Continental Siena – Starhotels Collezione
Grand Hotel Continental Siena – Starhotels Collezione
5 out of 5
Banchi Di Sopra 85, Siena, SI
The price is £200 per night from 6 Dec to 6 Dec
Grand Hotel Continental Siena – Starhotels Collezione
NH Siena
NH Siena
4 out of 5
Piazza La Lizza 1, Siena, SI
The price is £67 per night from 19 Dec to 19 Dec
NH Siena
Hotel Chiusarelli
Hotel Chiusarelli
3 out of 5
Viale Curtatone 15, Siena, SI
The price is £59 per night from 14 Dec to 14 Dec
Hotel Chiusarelli
Hotel Italia
Hotel Italia
3 out of 5
Viale Camillo Benso Conte di Cavour, 67, Siena, SI
The price is £56 per night from 9 Dec to 9 Dec
Hotel Italia
Hotel Alma Domus
Hotel Alma Domus
1 out of 5
via Camporegio 37, Siena, SI
The price is £62 per night from 12 Dec to 12 Dec
Hotel Alma Domus
Hotel Palazzetto Rosso
Hotel Palazzetto Rosso
3 out of 5
Via dei Rossi, 38-42, Siena
The price is £100 per night from 2 Dec to 2 Dec
Hotel Palazzetto Rosso
Best Western Hotel San Marco
Best Western Hotel San Marco
3 out of 5
Strada Massetana 70, Siena, SI
The price is £78 per night from 28 Dec to 28 Dec
Best Western Hotel San Marco
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.