Having traveled to Rome several times over the last 50 years, I knew that Rome was a city of fountains and a city proud of its fountains and its wonderful water supply. What I wasn’t ready for on my last trip was the many dry fountains that I ran into during my “fountain hunt.”
I found these lifeless fountains in many different parts of the city, and often there didn’t seem to be much reason for them. I was especially surprised to see several in the Vatican Gardens during my tour. I did see several men working in one or two different areas, but none on the fountains. Of course, all the big show fountains were burbling away, but a couple were especially noticeable. First was a somewhat sad looking eagle. Judging from what looked like spouts on the top, water should have been pouring over him.
Another was a sea creature that seemed to be trying for a drink from a shell. I fear he stayed thirsty.
|Waterless Borghese Rocks|
Wandering through the Villa Borghese, I found a small area of rocks that appeared to have once been swept by a wide flow of water and now seemed lifeless without it.
|Headless satyr (center)|
|A Dry Neptune|
In another lively area of Rome, Monti, there is a fountain that I have seen running very happily with water and surrounded by people out enjoying their neighborhood. On this trip, the fountain was dry, but it was decorated with several colorful balloons. It seemed like the neighborhood wanted to add some life to its gathering place.
Nearby was what I took to be a tall ruin of a building, but on more research was found to be the ruins of a fountain that was once part of the ancient Trophies of Marius.
Also dry this trip was Babuino, one of Marforio’s “friends,” after whom Via Babuino was named. On my next trip I expect to see him with his trough filled; he was being restored last I saw him.
|Pig and a Plaque|
A presto, Roma
PS from Dianne - Joan cites one of our favorite books - Morton's "Fountains of Rome." See the end of our earlier post on the "fontanone" for info on the book; if you're a Romaphhile - get it.