The fountain is made up of two stone niches, leaning against a rear wall, over two rectangular tanks. The two arches are semi-circular. The first, on the left, is covered by a gabled roof while the other, on the right, has a horizontal crowning.
The lower area of the niche on the left-hand side, which connects to the old spout from the Middle Ages, is made of stone blocks which are larger than those used in the overlying upper arch. About half-way up the wall there is an imprint in a block with the date of the first enlargement of the structure in 1549.
The tank on the right, from the same date, collects water spouting from four masks carved on the wall of the niche. These are, according to popular tradition, a King, a Queen, a ‘Zoccolante’ friar and a ‘Cappuccino’ friar. It is raised above the adjacent structure and is enclosed by stone slabs with recesses, which correspond with the mouths from which the water flows. In the past this allowed the women to more easily rest their "bowls" - which they used to collect water for domestic use - and to then place them more comfortably on their heads to carry them.
At the centre of the arch on the right, above a flattened pilaster, there is a bas-relief depicting the Annunciation inserted here in the 18th century, when this part of the work was completed and the fountain took on its present shape. The date engraved on the slab is questionable, however. It is usually read as "1732" however the style of the work suggests the Middle Ages. On the keystone of the arch is carved the emblem of the University of Scanno.
Historical NotesLocated along the main street, it is known as the “ciambella’ (doughnut) for its ringed shape and is the most imposing of all the fountains of Scanno.
Fountains have always played an important role here, as in other villages of Abruzzo, both as structural reference points in the urban centre and as meeting places for the inhabitants. Particularly in Scanno, their presence has for many centuries been an essential factor of both life and work and for the development of local economic activities. Both the Sarracco fountain and the other important water source - called the Pisciarello - were part of a complex hydraulic system fed by nearby springs. They played an important role in the activity of herding - the principal source of wealth of the village - and in the manufacture of woollen fabrics and associated activities.
The story of this fountain is closely related to the growth of the village. In medieval times it was located outside of the city centre in the upper part of the village, called Terra Vecchia, near the Church of Sant’Eustachio. Until the 16th century it was a simple trough connected to the lower, left-hand section of the fountain. In conjunction with the gradual extension of the village towards the valley, it was rebuilt in stages to take on forms that were more suited to urban use. In 1549, the arch to the left, and the bottom section to the right, were added.
In the 18th century, when the surrounding area expanded greatly - coinciding with the greatest period of prosperity in herding - the fountain was completely renovated and in 1732, the second, large, round arch on the right was added.
Other modernisation and restoration works were completed in the 19th century, such as the construction of the niche to the right of the fountain, the reconstruction of the pavement in front with rectangular stone slabs (1859) and the replacement of the old brick pipes with more modern cast iron ones in the late 19th century.
Further work in the 1970’s included amongst other things the reconstruction of the concrete mask of the Queen. The whole fountain was then restored in the late 1980’s by the Town Council, in collaboration with the Superintendence of BAAAS.