The Water Museum
The Water Museum is located at the beautiful Fonte di Pescaia, which was already active in the first half of the 13th century.
Located along the Via Francigena, outside the path of the walls, the Fonte di Pescaia represents a very valid testimony of the wise and calibrated use of water, so rare in Siena: according to a typical model of Sienese sources, in fact, the cycle of use of water it was distributed over tanks placed in sequence at different heights.
The first was intended for food uses, the second for fish breeding and secondary uses, then there was the tank reserved for watering animals
The tanks were fed by the overflow, that is, the overflow of the tank that preceded it fed the tank that followed.
Near the main structure of the Fonte, the wash house from where the water flowed towards the white sewer downstream.
The water supply of the source was guaranteed by two branches of booty, the famous underground tunnels dug in the Pliocene sandstone, where the waters were collected by dripping and conveyed to the sources on the surface according to a complex system of settling tanks and collection points placed at different heights.
The source was built mainly in bricks, the most widespread material in the period of maximum economic flourishing and urban growth of the city.
The main facade is characterized by three arches supported by stone and brick pillars. In the upper part we can distinguish the arches and corbels supporting the battlements that crowned the top of the masonry, which was later destroyed by a late intervention to raise the structure.
On the ribs of the cross vaults that characterize the covering of the basins, traces of black and white coloring can still be distinguished, while on the back wall, in rows of stone alternating with bricks, you can see the Balzana, symbol of the city and of the municipal authority , referent and responsible of the sources since their realization
For a long time the Fonte di Pescaia was segregated to a marginal role of the city, suffocated by modern architecture, until the beginning of 2010 when, after a complex building renovation, the Water Museum was inaugurated.
The opportunity was born thanks to the "Siena city of water" project welcomed by the European Community as part of a series of initiatives aimed at celebrating that period called "Renaissance of machines" when figures such as Taccola, Francesco di Giorgio Martini and Leonardo da Vinci introduced revolutionary ideas and techniques
The interior layout, arranged on three floors above the Fonti di Pescaia, was conceived and designed by the "Social Design" of Architects Roberto Santini, Goffredo Serrini, Claudio Zagaglia and was created by Leonardo Sangiorgi's Studio Azzurro in Milan and by Mizar by Paco Lanciano of Rome