This masterpiece of sculptor Bartolomeo Ammannati was commissioned to celebrate the wedding of Francesco I de’ Medici and the Grand Duchess Johanna of Austria. The elaborate bronze and marble statue portrays a towering image of Neptune—Roman god of the sea—with the face of Cosimo I de 'Medici; satyrs and horses frolic around the high central pedestal and basin. Despite sustaining considerable damage over the years, including losing a hand to vandals in 2005, the statue has been painstakingly restored and remains a popular meeting place for both locals and tourists.
A stroll through Piazza della Signoria with a stop at the Fountain of Neptune is a must during Florence tours on foot, Segway, or bike. Most private and small-group tours also include skip-the-line tickets to other top attractions in and near Piazza della Signoria—including the Uffizi, Palazzo Vecchio, and the Accademia.