The Barcaccia Fountain is located in Piazza di Spagna, at the foot of the Spanish Steps. The term "barcaccia" refers to the boats used on the Tiber in the nearby port of Ripetta.
The theme of the work is inspired by the flood of 1598, which allowed the boats to reach the place where the fountain now stands. Pope Urban VIII commissioned it to Bernini in 1627: in that area, the Virgin Water aqueduct, which still feeds the fountain, had too low a pressure to allow the construction of gushes or waterfalls.
The problem was solved by designing the shape of a boat immersed in the water and placing it below the street level with fountains coming out from the stern and the bow.
The fountain has undergone various conservative interventions over time, due to its location in the centre of one of the most frequented squares in the city.
Terminati i lavori di restauro, lunedì 22 settembre 2014 si è svolta a Piazza di Spagna l'inaugurazione in presenza del sindaco di Roma Ignazio Marino, l’Assessore alla Cultura Giovanna Marinelli e il Sovrintendente capitolino Claudio Parisi Presicce.