The Fountain of the Zodiacal signs
The monumental fountain in Piazza Tacito is the iconographic emblem of Terni and a symbolic representation of its steel industry, the one that made it known beyond national borders and defined its identity for over a century. It was inaugurated in April 1936, four years after the Municipality of Terni had announced a national competition aimed at the "engineers, architects and artists of the Kingdom" for the design of a monumental fountain for Piazza Tacito, which symbolized the industrial Terni and the hydraulic energy which was its "engine". Piazza Tacito was not accidental, given from the end of the 19th century had been the hub of the new urban layout - designed to respond to the new social and economic reality of the city -, a connection point between important road axes: Corso Tacito, Viale della Stazione (the station was opened in 1864) and the one directed towards the industrial settlements (viale Benedetto Brin). The fountain was built from the project of the architects Mario Ridolfi and Mario Fagiolo, winners of the competition, who conceived a structure that combined different materials and composed as follows: a granite base, a circular porphyry crown, a large basin and an internal basin made of Carrara marble in the center of which stands a steel needle ("flagpole").
The monument is also characterized by the splendid mosaic decoration of the lower basin band that reproduces the twelve zodiac signs, - representations of the water regime during the months of the year - created by the artist Corrado Cagli, who in 1934 designed the models in polychrome glass tesserae, which were made by the Salviati firm of Venice. The damage that the monument suffered with the bombings of the Second World War made it necessary to carry out an important reconstruction and renovation which also involved the mosaics, redesigned in 1961 by Cagli himself, who for the new version proposed the use of stone tesserae, whose production was entrusted to the Mosaici Marini firm of Rome. Completely renovated, the fountain of the Zodiac was unveiled in June 1961 on the occasion of the Water Festival. In December 2021, a complex program for the restoration and renovation of the monument was completed, which involved multiple work, from that on the mosaics to those relating to the hydraulic part and lighting. In particular, the original mosaic, whose tesserae were very deteriorated, has been removed and restored and will become a museum exhibit. In its replacement there is now a copy of Cagli's work (which is bound) of which it is an accurate reproduction respecting all its characteristics - from the drawings of the zodiac signs to the colours of the tesserae.