NEW: the RST Top 40 Countdown list is at right, updated with each post.
"Il fontanone" - the "big fountain" - it's a casual and direct Italian nickname for one of Rome's most gorgeous fountains. And, because it's a little out of the way, on the top of the Gianicolo (up, behind Trastevere), this magnificent fountain doesn't get the attention of the Trevi Fountain. Therefore, this fountain, Acqua Paola, makes Rome the Second Time's Top 40.
"Acqua Paola" also means to Romans, "not so good," because despite its beautiful "mostra" or "show" fountain, the water, taken from Lake Bracciano, when brought into Rome by Pope Paul V in 1612, was deemed just not very good.
The aqueduct feeding this fountain, one of Paul's big construction projects for the city, urban planner that he was, uses in part Trajan's aqueduct from Ancient Rome (Aqua Traiana). There are many stories and lots of history behind Acqua Paola, but we'll leave that to Itinerary 2 of Rome the Second Time and to a plethora of online sites (warning - many of them have errors - e.g., this fountain was not moved in the 1890s - that was another smaller fountain, fed by the same aqueduct, now in Piazza Trilussa in Trastevere - I can't imagine moving this one). And, Wikipedia, it's spelled Acqua Paola, with a "c", because the Renaissance fountains use the word "acqua" from Italian, while the ancient ones, like Aqua Traiana, use the Latin aqua - without a "c"...
For those of you visiting Rome even the first time - don't miss the Gianicolo and Acqua Paola!
Dianne - a PS - our favorite book on Rome's fountains is H.V. Morton's The Fountains of Rome; even tho' out of print, you can find it.