Fontana del Mascherone
Via Giulia, a street created during the Renaissance under Pope Julius II from whom derives its name, is a romantic and not-to-be-missed promenade in the heart of the Eternal City. Following the Tiber stream, today via Giulia runs from Ponte Sisto in Rome Trastevere to the beautiful church of San Giovanni dei Fiorentini, while according to the original project it was supposed to link the Vatican to the Campidoglio. Many churches and magnificent noble residences overlook via Giulia today: Sant’Eligio degli Orefici (designed by the great Raphael), Santa Caterina da Siena and Santa Maria in Monserrato, Palazzo Sacchetti, Palazzo Falconieri and Palazzo Medici Clarelli. Its actual aspect derives from Michelangelo’s project for the gardens of Palazzo Farnese: the beautiful ivy-covered arch characterising via Giulia is part of the original project of connection between Palazzo Farnese and Villa Farnesina, the other residence of the powerful family on the other side of the Tiber, through a bridge. At the corner of via del Mascherone there is a bizarre marble fountain realised in 1626 on commission of the Farnese family combining ancient marble sculptures. The front of the fountain consists of a laughing mask and it is said that during some particular celebration to honour the Farnese family from the mask flushed out good wine instead of simple water.