The fountains are fed by the Acqua Paola and are the decoration of the square, dominated by the imposing Renaissance palace of the Farnese family, today the residence of the French Embassy. The large dull-grey granite ponds decorated with rings and lion headsare identical in shape and came from the Thermae of Caracalla.
In 1466 they were in Piazza Venezia in front of Palazzo di San Marco. At the time of Paul the Third Farnese (1534-1549) one of the two ponds was moved to the centre of the square, while the second was added in 1580. The arrangement of the two fountains is attributed to Girolamo Rainaldi and was done in 1626.
It consists of a travertine pond that contains the Roman pond decorated with a pod-shaped motif supporting a lily, coat of arms of the Farnese family, from which waterpours through four masks into the Roman ponds and then into the basins below.