Borgo Pio Rome
The Borgo Pio is named for the Pope who had it constructed, Pius IV. At the time the street began at the Arch of Sant’Angelo, which does not exist anymore., but was near the present Piazza Pia.
The street had to be laid higher than normal, because in those days the river Tiber flooded regularly. A special network of drains was also constructed.
The pope gave many privileges to people living inside what was then called the Civitas Pia. Many of these were courtesans.
Construction of the street was not completed until 1580, when Gregory XIII was Pope. Near the Sant’Anna dei Palafrenieri Church at the end of the street there used to be an inscription commemorating the completion.
The Madonnella on the corner of the Borgo Pio and the Vicolo del Campanile is protected by a baroque aedicula. The 18th century painting of this “Madonna and Child” is framed by a stucco medallion. In 1797 Pope Pius VI had an inscription placed under the aedicula, promising an indulgence to all believers.
Near the Piazza del Catalone, where the Borgo Pio becomes wider, is a fountain which is protected by an iron gate between two small pillars. The fountain is built against a wall and consists of an aedicula of travertine marble and a tympanum. The triple crown with crossed keys on the upper arch is the papal coat-of-arms. The central part consists of a simple pipe, that drips water into an oval tub, from which it drips further into the lower basin. The words Acqua Marcia above the pipe refer to the aqueduct that supplies the water. From here it can be deduced that the fountain was built around the year 1769, since that is the year that Pope Pius IX had this aqueduct restored. From that moment it came to be called Acqua Pia.