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Fontana del Bargello

Overview

Three laps to get a "madman's licence"

A typical example of local Gothic architecture, the Palazzo del Bargello in Gubbio was the headquarters of the local police chief in medieval times. It is famed for the so-called Porta del Morto (Door of the Dead) on its façade, used according to some as an exit for the "dearly departed", and according to others for security reasons. But the building is also famous for the Fontana del Bargello, originally from the sixteenth century but rebuilt in the nineteenth, which stands in front of it. 

Tradition has it that those who run around the fountain three times and are then splashed with its water symbolically receive a "madman's licence", hence why the attraction is also known as the Fontana dei Matti (Fountain of Madmen). The ritual is inspired by the "birate", where participants run three speedy laps around the main flagpole of Piazza Grande during the Festa dei Ceri (Festival of Candles). Once the ritual is completed, you can buy your licence in one of the souvenir shops along Via dei Consoli. 

Fontana del Bargello

Via dei Consoli, 37, 06024 Gubbio PG, Italia

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