The Fontana della Sirena is found in Piazza Sannazaro, in Napoli (Naples), Italy. The location is just a few hundred feet from the water's edge at Sannazaro Harbor. map
The city of Napoli was settled by Greeks in the second millenium BC and was initially named after the Greek siren goddess Parthenope, whose name literally means ‘pure voice’. According to legend, Parthenope despaired after failing to lure Odysseus to her island, cast herself into the sea and drowned. Her body washed ashore near Napoli, and hence the worship of her in this area. Many people in Napoli still refer to themselves as Parthenopeans.
Another legend has it that a centaur named Vesuvius was in love with Parthenope, but that Zeus was jealous and turned Vesuvius into a volcano and Parthenope into the city of Napoli. This of course accounts for Mount Vesuvius erupting frequently in frustration at being separated from Parthenope.
The Fontana della Sirena was created by Onofrio Buccino in 1869 to commemorate Parthenope as the city’s patroness. As usual with sirens from Greek mythology, there is some confusion as to whether she was half bird or half fish, and she is celebrated in both forms in Napoli.
The statue has sustained some damage over the years, mainly in the form of missing fingers.
● The Mermaids of Earth coffee-table book: See page 73 in the book about this sculpture.