of the Barresi-Branciforte castle is the Fontana della Ninfa Zizza (Fountain of the Nymph Zizza), dating back to 1607. The rich family, who was very attentive to its citizens, funded a series of public works. It was responsible for building the aqueduct that brought water from the source in the Zizza quarter to the castle, where the fountain provided water for the entire community. It was the town’s first source of public drinking water, an event of great importance at the time.
This work, attributed to Giandomenico Gagini , is located on a terraced wall and inserted in an aedicula with half columns framing the marble bas-relief of the girl Zizza, from whose breasts the water flows; to the right and left of the aedicula are two lion heads inserted in niches , while at the base there is an octagonal basin surmounted by satyr ‘s mask.
The original bas-relief has been kept in the former convent of San Domenico (St. Dominic) since the 1990s due to weather degradation and was restored in 2006. Legend has it that the young Zizza, a shepherdess in love with Lembasi, was betrothed in an unwanted marriage, so she transformed into a spring and her love turned into a stream.
The story was published in 1623 by Pietro Carrera, a historian and scholar who was part of the Branciforte court.