Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Elegant but Not Ostentatious: A Favorite Fountain
Rome has hundreds of fountains, and every visitor has a favorite, or a few favorites. One of mine is this gem of a drinking fountain (the water running continuously, ala romana). It's part of the University of Rome--the main campus, La Sapienza, the one built by the Mussolini regime in the late 1930s. The entrance to the campus, a combination of rationalist and monumental modernism, is located on via d. Scienze, just a few blocks from the Termini train station. You can see the entrance (from inside the campus) in the photograph, behind the fountain.
The bowl of the fountain is set into a three-footed base, subtly and elegantly decorated on each side with those graceful, gently waving parallel lines that at once reinforce the vertical and blend it with a different sort of energy, one, perhaps, with its roots in nature rather than man, as if the water were flowing not from a pipe, but from a spring. Whatever it is, it works. Bill