Piazza della Repubblica, formerly called by Romans “Piazza Esedra”, originates from the great exedra of the Roman baths of Diocleziano whose perimeter is traced by the semicircular colonnade of the square a late 19th century work by Gaetano Koch. The square overlooks the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri obtained from a wing of the Roman bath by Michelangelo Buonarroti. At the center of the large square you can admire today the beautiful Fontana delle Naiadi (Fountain of the Naiads) wich constitutes the exhibition of the Acqua Marcia, adduced by King Quinto Marcio144 BC. From the upper Aniene valley near Arsoli. In 1885, with the approval of Master Plan and the start of important urban restructuring works, the arrangement of the large Esedra Square was decided and it was established that the definitive exhibition of the Acqua Marcia should arise in the center of the square itself, in the background of the axis of via Nazionale. In 1897 Mario Rutelli’s project for the preparation of the fountain was approved, wich prepared four colossal bronze groups , depicting four nymphs, each of them lying on an aquatic animal, wich symbolized water in its forms: a sea horse for the Nymph of the Oceans, a water snake for the Nymph of the Rivers, a swan for the Nymph of Lakes, a Lizard for the Nymph of underground Rivers. The work aroused controversy not to end due to the procacy of female nudes, so much so that the fountain remained hidden for a long time inside a wooden enclosure. The controversy not to end due to the procacity of female nudes, so much so that the fountain remained hidden for a long time inside a wooden enclosure.
The controversies therefore focus on the central sculptural group originally made up of three tritons, a dolphin and an octopus (now visible in the gardens of Vittorio Emanuele II Square) and then replaced with the current triton embracing a dolphin .