The Fountain of the Four Continents, located in front of the Town Hall in Piazza Unità d’Italia, was created between 1751 and 1754 by the Bergamo sculptor Giovanni Battista Mazzoleni, also author of the Giovanin Fountain in Piazza Ponterosso and of the Neptune Fountain in Piazza of the Stock Exchange.
The intention was to present Trieste to the world as a city aided by Fortuna through the establishment of the Portofranco and the liberal policy of Charles VI and Maria Teresa.
The four statues at the corner of the basin represent the four continents with an animal and each represents one of the four continents then known: Europe with the horse, Asia with the camel, Africa with the lion and America with the crocodile. Oceania-Australia had not yet been discovered. Allegorical figures of Rivers pour water from their jars into the shells below; below the water gushes from the mouths of four dolphins, falling back into the large pools.
On the top, the Angel of Fame with spread wings overlooks the young figure of Trieste, lying on the rocks of the Carso, and surrounded by bundles, barrels, bales of cotton and ropes, in the act of addressing a merchant in oriental clothing. In 1938 the fountain was removed from the square to make way for the stage for the meeting of Benito Mussolini visiting the city. It returned to the square in the seventies after being restored.