The fountain of Young Bacchus, known as the Fontana di Bacchino, is a monument and symbol of the city of Prato. The original is conserved inside the courtyard of the town hall, while the one on display in piazza del Comune is a 20th-century copy.
The work was made to celebrate Prato’s promotion to city and dioceses, which took place in 1653. It was commissioned to the artist Ferdinando Tacca, who worked on it from 1659 to 1665. The bronze figure depicts a young Bacchus, symbolizing the fresh changes the city was experiencing at the time. The child sits, surrounded by bunches of grapes, atop two large basins, while the water flows down to two smaller pools at the base of the fountain.
The work is tied to a traditional activity that takes place on August 15, known as Ferragosto, though it’s changed over the years. Tasty slices of watermelon handed out to locals would be kept fresh right in these basins.