Mela Fountain

Built in 1643 at the behest of some senators who, under Philip IV, moved the statue of Mercury, placed at the entrance to Porta Messina, to the square as an ornament to a marble fountain carved with four lions. It was rebuilt in 1762/63 after wartime destruction, as documented by inscriptions. In 1938, the fountain was removed by podestà Salvatore Scala, to make way for a monument commemorating the naval battle between the Romans and Carthaginians in the waters of Milazzo, and the materials were almost completely dispersed. In the eighteenth-century version, of less than excellent quality, the fountain consisted of a polygonal basin with inscribed panels, inside which was an artificial islet surrounded by seahorses and eagles that formed the base for the statue personifying the Mela river.

The deity was represented as a male figure, seated, in the act of holding an oar with his right hand while pouring water from a jar with his left. Some basins outside the main one allowed people to draw water before a high protective railing was put in place: one of those basins has been reused in the cemetery fountains and one of the eagles, much damaged, is in the basin in Piazza Battisti. In 1990, out of a desire to re-establish contact with the Milazzese past, the current Mela Fountain was created by artist Ettore Giulio Resta.