Fontana delle Tartarughe
Fontana delle Tartarughe
4.5
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Fontana delle Tartarughe, or The Turtles' Fountain, is one of the Renaissance's little gems.
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Neighbourhood: Sant'Angelo
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles358 reviews
Excellent
174
Very good
140
Average
43
Poor
2
Terrible
0

Brad
Hong Kong, China1,73,427 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
This is a fun fountain located just outside Piazza Mattei in the Jewish Quarter. It was built between 1581-88 based on the design of Giacomo della Porta. Originally it didn't have the turtles for which the fountain is now best known. The original turtles were added by Bernini in 1658 but due to repeated theft, they are now in the Capitoline Museums while those you see today are copies.

What you see is a large bowl with four turtles climbing in and out. Below are four children upon dolphins, each reaching up to one of the turtles. Water spouts from the four dolphins as well as open shells situated around the fountain, filling in the ground level basin below. Its a fun, somewhat whimsical fountain, easy to enjoy for both adults and children alike. Definitely worth spending a few minutes to enjoy if passing through this area of Rome.
Written 9 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mairwen1
United Kingdom10,823 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
This playful fountain with its whimsical turtles is one of the main sights when exploring the old Jewish Quarter.
It takes centre stage in the small square, Piazza Mattei. It was placed here, right outside Palazzo Mattei, so that the nobleman, Muzio Mattei, could see it from his window.
Interestingly there were no turtles at all when it was originally built between 1581 and 1588. These were added much later by the famous Gian Bernini when the fountain was renovated in 1658-59.
What you see here is a traditional pedestal fountain with four bronzed young men, each resting a foot on the back of a dolphin. Were they riding them like surfboards?
Water flows from the mouths of cherubs and spouts from the mouths of the dolphins into giant conch shells below.
It’s the turtles that steal the show. One turtle totters along the edge of the upper basin and the boy below holds a hand out to steady it. Another is scrambling to get over the basin’s edge and is gently nudged into the water by the boy below. A third one seems to be falling but the boys hand is already outstretched to save it.
In 1944 the turtles were stolen but were, fortunately, recovered. Later one was again stolen and has been lost forever. Sensibly, the turtles here today are only copies.
Interestingly, fountains like this were not just frivolous decorations. They served the very practical purpose of supplying water to the neighbourhood.
Written 7 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Steve Buckley
London, UK8,855 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023
My wife and myself are currently holidaying in Rome staying at the Romanico Hotel and earlier today we visited the Jewish Ghetto/Quarter.

Whilst there we came across the Fontana delve Tartarughe (Turtle Fountain) which is not only eye catching but different to many of the others to be found in Rome. See if you can find it and - if so - pop into the Cafe opposite!
Written 20 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dapper777
Monaco63,741 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2020 • Friends
It is located in a small charmiing square, in the historic center.
The fountain was built around the end of 1500 on a project by Giacomo della Porta.
The sculptures of the four children who raise their arms to help the turtles enter the upper basin are attributed to Taddeo Landini, while the turtles were added in 1658 by Bernini.
The structure is articulated and complex and is enriched by precious marbles of various colors and from bronzes.
A small square with this beautiful fountain in the center and with cafes around it for a coffee or aperitif .. is very suggestive in the evening.
Written 11 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Noraatc
Sudbury, MA38,601 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Solo
The Fontana delle Tartarughe (The Turtle Fountain) is a gem of the late Italian Renaissance located in the heart of the Jewish Ghetto in the center of the Piazza Mattei. It is not clear that the turtles of the fountain’s pedestal are Bernini’s creations, but they are absolutely charming and so are the dolphins. The Mattei family ordered the construction of this beautiful fountain and it has become one of many little treasures of the Eternal City.
Written 23 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

L3K
Guisborough, UK1,789 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
One of the lesser fountains, in a quieter corner of Rome. We happened upon it purely by chance. Bernini just had to meddle and embellish the original.
Written 19 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Manuela L
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg6,690 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2018
This fountain of the sixteenth century, restaured by Bernini, is so lovely, I visit it every time, it's the most charming fountain of this area, with bronze turtles, added probabely by Bernini.
Written 14 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AZFam-Travel
Arizona201 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
The little fountain is close to the Jewish Ghetto and is in a quiet little square, Piazza Mattei. There are several restaurant locations close by as well.
Written 19 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AllanJGJ
Wellington, New Zealand4,194 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
Legend has it that Duke Muzio Mattei had the basic fountain made overnight to impress his (hopefully) future father-in-law. Whether this is true or not it's been sitting in this rather nondescript little piazza for well over four hundred years. The fountain itself, the statuary and the turtles were all made by different artists with the turtles being the most interesting. Obviously people must have thought the hands of the four statues reaching heavenward looked a little aimless, so in the 1650s the great Bernini had the cute idea of adding the turtles, so that it appears they're being given a hand up to the top bowl of the fountain.They supposedly symbolise prudence and caution which I guess makes sense given the species rather pedestrian approach to life. It's definitely a cute fountain; perhaps not worth a special trip but if you're in the Jewish quarter why not hunt those cute turtles out.
Written 17 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mathew I
Hobart, Australia8 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019 • Couples
Many people don't realise the four turtles represent Renaissance masters Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael.
Written 13 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Fontana delle Tartarughe - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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