Francesco Camilliani, a Florentine sculptor, created the fountain in 1554 for the garden of Don Luigi Toledo, the father-in-law of Cosimo I de Medici, the Grand Duke of Tuscany.
In 1574, the Toledo family sold it to the Palermitan Senate to settle their debts.
Piazza Pretoria, or the Square of Shame to Palermitans, gets its name from the hefty price the Palermo Senate had to pay for this.
Because of the misery, epidemics, and famine that characterized those years, the inhabitants of Palermo yelled “Shame, Shame” when the senators came out of the Palace.
The main elements of the fountain are in Carrara marble while other elements are in Billiemi marble
It’s surrounded by three buildings: the Praetorian Palace (the town hall) built in the fourteenth century and renovated in the nineteenth century, St. Catherine Church (end of the sixteenth century), and Palazzo Bonocore and Palazzo Bordonaro, two baronial palaces. The fourth side of the square leads down to Via Maqueda.