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The Dragons of the Villa d’Este, Tivoli

The “Fontana Dei Draghi” or the Fountain of the Dragons is located in a central point in the Villa d’Este in the Italian city of Tivoli. This fountain was also known as the “Girándula” Fountain.

The term “girandula” refers to an artifact, in this case hydraulic, that causes the fountain’s water bursts. The name is also attributed to the sound emitted with each blast of water and that was very similar to that emitted by cannons or firecrackers when fired.

They say that the origin of the “Fontana Dei Draghi” was born with the visit of Ugo Boncompagni, then known as Pope Gregory XIII. The fountain with the four winged dragons was built in honor of his visit to Villa D’Este in the 16th century.

The Boncompagni Family crest had a predominantly winged dragon. This image of the dragon became an integral part of the papal coat of arms of Pope Gregory XIII.

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