Wednesday, December 8, 2010

One image: Fontana delle Tartarughe

The Fountain of the Turtles wasn't far from where we stayed in Rome - out the front door, turn right, turn right again, and a little way down the street to the Piazza Mattei - no more than a few minutes' stroll.

We walked through this little piazza several times during our stay, and twice came across groups of art students engaged in drawing the fountain. Apparently the original fountain (built in the 1580s) was to have another four dolphins, supported by the boys' hands, but they were either never finished, or were moved to another fountain, depending on which story you believe. The turtles, possibly by Bernini, were added about 70 years later.

Fountains like this one were designed to provide drinking water for the local people, and apparently the water is clean enough to drink today. I love that they're not just for decoration, but were an important part of daily life for the people who lived here over 400 years ago.

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