back to the MAIN INDEX  ~ Roman Monographies ~

Fountains
part II
Small Fountains
PAGE 4
back to ROMAN MONOGRAPHIES


page 1 page 2 page 3



OTHER SMALL FOUNTAINS
OF THE 19th AND 20th CENTURIES

via del Tempio di Giove
fountain with a she-wolf's head
The nasoni are not the only type of mass-produced fountain seen in Rome. Around the 1930s, a certain number of white travertine prysms, whose scanty design is consistent with that of most buildings born during that age, were made to be set especially in public gardens and parks; also the central area of Rome received a few, in addition to the pre-existing cast iron cylinders. As a nozzle, these ones had a bronze she-wolf's head, symbol of Rome.
viale Ceradini - Colle Oppio park
one of the few fountains with the fasci
Several of them are extant, but very few still have the original she-wolf's head which, in the case of damage, was often replaced with a plain pipe (see the picture in the introduction).

piazza Mancini
above and right, two she-wolf nozzles;
due to an overflow, the one above spouts water
both from its mouth and from the upper hole, located
on the animal's muzzle or (right) between the eyes
During the same period, a smaller number of fountains decorated with the fasci (a symbol of the regime of those days) were also made; similar in design to the previous ones, they had three fasci in green marble on each side, and a plain nozzle (picture above); now only the trace of the original decoration is left on the very few surviving specimens.

villa Celimontana

via Margutta piazza S.Marco
the Fountain of the Artists (for Campo Marzio district)
and the Fountain of the Pine-cone (for Pigna district)
Much prettier than the mass-produced ones are the so-called district fountains. They form a series of eight, made in 1928 by artist Pietro Lombardi, to whom the municipality had commissioned the making of small fountains for the benefit of Rome's historical districts (see The 22 Rioni), each of which inspired by the features of their own rione.
Only a few sample district fountains are shown in this page, but each of them can be seen in the relevant page of The 22 Rioni section.
Among Rome's historical districts, Borgo is the only one which has two different fountains dedicated to its features, one referring to the pope (Fountain of the Tiaras) and one dedicated to Sant'Angelo Castle (Fountain of the Cannon-balls), although the latter was not among Lombardi's works.
via di Porta Castello
Fountain of the Cannon-balls (for Borgo district)
They both draw water from the Acqua Pia-Marcia aqueduct, whose reopening Pius IX, the last "pope king", had sponsored and given his name. Before the two district fountains were made, smaller outputs provided Borgo with the same water; among the surviving ones is a small fountain standing halfway along Borgo Pio.
borgo Pio
Acqua Pia-Marcia fountain in Borgo
piazza delle Vaschette
the fountain pouring water from the Aqua Virgo
Furthermore, in the same Borgo district another small output was opened in the 1800s; this one though is connected to the Aqua Virgo, whose water is considered to have a better taste than the one from the Acqua Pia-Marcia. It once stood by the no longer existing Porta Angelica (read more about this gate in The"Popes' Walls, part I, page 1). When the gate was demolished the fountain was moved to the nearby piazza delle Vaschette, where it had to be set below the ground level of the square, as the long distance from the main course of the Aqua Virgo aqueduct (see Aqueducts, page 2) would have not reached this spot with sufficient pressure, had the output not been lowered this much.

Three more small fountains are worthy of being mentioned, because of their design that makes them look older than their real age.
piazza della Cancelleria
the triangular fountain
dedicated to cardinal Riario
The one in via Paolina features a cherub, in a Renaissance-like fashion despite being dated 1930 (actually, "Year VIII" of the fascist regime). It is reached by the Acqua Pia-Marcia.
The unusual one in piazza della Cancelleria, made in the same year, is shaped as a triangle. A large shield pours water into a small basin similar to the old troughs described in page 1. The shield bears the crest of cardinal Raffaele Riario, nephew of pope Sixtus IV (1471-84) and founder of the large Chancellery Palace, on the opposite side of the square (see Rione VI - Parione). Its water comes from the Aqua Virgo.
via Paolina
not a Renaissance fountain, despite
the shape: the date reads 1930
via di Monte Brianzo
the small bear fountain
The third one, of similar age, has a nozzle in the shape of a bear's head, and draws water from the Aqua Virgo, as the fountain clearly says in Italian (Acqua Vergine). The bear recalls the Albergo dell'Orso ("Bear Inn", 15th century, see Rione V - Ponte), which stands at the bottom of the same street.
via di Monte Brianzo


Another rather popular output is the one called the Carlotta Fountain. Its name refers to the naive relief of an imaginary woman with long hair, spouting water into a small cylindrical basin. It hangs in a charming corner in the heart of Garbatella, a district built from 1920 to 1929.
The heavy refurbishments carried out in several parts of central Rome during the early decades of the 20th century left many families without a home; these people were taken to Garbatella, almost as refugees. In fact, in those days this used to be a faraway and rather ill-famed suburb.
piazza Ricoldo da Montecroce
the Carlotta Fountain
In time, though, it was gradually absorbed by the expanding urban area, and well connected to the rest of the city. Since most of its old typical houses are perfectly preserved, it is now one of Rome's most charming districts.
To find the tiny square where the fountain is located may be difficult, even with a map, as the narrow streets of Garbatella are like a labyrinth. But ask any of the local inhabitants how to reach the Carlotta Fountain: they can tell you blindfold!
piazza Ricoldo da Montecroce


Before leaving the realm of small fountains for the more famous and noble ones, built in larger scale, we should not forget to mention an oddity located in the central via Veneto, facing the USA Embassy: the Fountain of the Dog (right). This tiny output, barely noticed, maybe 60 cm. or 2 feet high, was made by the owner of a nearby bar for the benefit of the pets that stroll with their masters along the famous street of the Dolce Vita. The three letters above the dog's head, ABC, referred to the name of the bar, now no longer there.


*  *  *
via Veneto
the Fountain of the Dog








PART I
ANCIENT FOUNTAINS

PART II
page 1



PART II
page 2



PART II
page 3






PART III
MAIN FOUNTAINS



back to the MAIN INDEX back to ROMAN MONOGRAPHIES