I recently came across this Fountain Photo Challenge and I thought I’d take part. Although the overall theme is fountains, each month has a specific theme. May’s is “fountains with people on or in them”
I went through my photos and found one that brought back great memories: the fountain at Piazza Navona in Rome.
We visited Rome a few years ago and fell in love with the Eternal City. Of all the places we say, I think piazza Navona is one of my favourites. I loved its shape (it was built over the remains of an ancient stadium), the bright colours of the buildings that surround the piazza, the art and crafts fair and, of course, the fountains.
I had a particular interest in seeing the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi – Fountain of the Four Rivers- commissioned by Pope Innocent X to Bernini in the 17th century. Sadly, this Baroque beauty was covered and undergoing repairs. I will confess that my interest in this fountain was piqued by Dan Brown’s novel Angels and Demons. Also, because each river represents a continent and the Americas are represented by the River Plate, the river on which my hometown of Buenos Aires was founded.
Two other fountains adorn Piazza Navona: Fontana del Moro (Moor Fountain) and Fontana di Nettuno, Neptune’s Fountain. This one is a lot more recent, having been added only in 1878 to create symmetry. The central figure is Neptune battling a giant octopus. The sculptures surrounding Neptune are also Greek mythological deities: Nereids and cupids. They sit astride horses with funny expressions. I know that Greek deities are not people per se but they have human features. And those horses!
After a very pleasant stroll, we sat down to eat at one of the restaurants on the piazza. We knew we would be skinned alive by the time the food bill came round but we didn’t care. It was a fair price to pay for the privilege of enjoying such a beautiful sight in a magnificent city.
What’s your favourite fountain?