The Romans have always been concerned with water as a public resource, in particular.
In fact, they fully integrated numerous aqueducts, cisterns, and baths throughout the ancient city.
Public fountains already existed in those times and today there are over 2000 scattered across Rome.
Among the many marvelous fountains, there is one that is not notable so much for its beauty or its preservation, but more for its function.
It is perhaps the oldest fountain that exists for the use of cats and dogs.
You can find it near the Lungotevere Tor di Nona, in Piazza San Salvatore in Lauro (which is named for the small group of Laurel trees that grew there a few centuries ago, extending from the piazza to the bank of Tiber River).
This fountain is part of a well-known group of so-called “wandering fountains” that have changed location at least one time during their existence.
In fact, this fountain was originally located on Via di Panico, from the time of its construction in 1579, on the orders of Gregory XIII, also known as Ugo Boncompagni, who was Pope from 1572 until 1585. In the 1920’s, it was moved, due to construction, to the place where it is found today.
At this point it was already in pretty poor condition.
Looking at the front of the church of San Salvatore in Lauro, which was built in the 12th century and later rebuilt many times, our fountain can be found to the left, against the wall of the Palazzo dei Piceni, a convent adjacent to the church.