After a two year restoration project, the Fountain of Neptune in Piazza della Signoria in the center of Florence has finally been unveiled. In 1559, a new aqueduct was being build which would bring water to the city of Florence for the first time and Cosimo I de’Medici launched a design competition for a fountain focusing on Neptune.
The plan was for the Sea God to be the primary element, in a chariot drawn by sea-horses, symbolizing Florence's command of the Mediterranean. The face of Neptune is said to resemble that of Cosimo (what a surprise!). The 4.2 meter (nearly 14 feet) tall marble statue was completed in 1565 in time for the wedding of Cosimo de’ Medici’s son, Francesco.
The water supply system has been rebuilt to enable the jets to spray the way the original fountain’s sculptor, Bartolomeo Ammannati, dreamed they would. The statue on display today is a copy made in the 1800s when the original was moved to the National Museum.