The Fontana dello Sprone or del Buontalenti is located in Florence, between via dello Sprone and Borgo San Jacopo, in a narrow corner below a private terrace. It is one of the most famous and elegant public fountains in the city, among the most beautiful in the Oltrarno district.
The spur indicates a corner formed by two streets that intersect at an acute angle, so the building that is included in it has a trapezoidal shape: there are several in Florence.
Realized by Bernardo Buontalenti, it is probably dated back to 1608, when this area of the city was embellished for the passage of the wedding procession of Cosimo II de 'Medici with Maria Maddalena of Austria, the same occasion that saw the laying of the statues of the Santa Trinita bridge. Buontalenti himself resided not far from this area, in via Maggio 37.
The fountain is composed of a mask that sprays water in a shell-shaped tub characterized by large and elegant scrolls on the edge. The fountain was built in order to create a waterfall on the front, which ended up in the tank for collecting and disposing of the water below.
The fountain was restored in the nineteenth century by Giuseppe del Rosso. Higher up on the corner there is a Medici coat of arms, beneath the shelves of a small belvedere protruding from the palace on the "spur".
It served as a model for an analogous fountain of the Mascherone by Chiarissimo Fancelli, located on a corner of the Loggia del Grano.