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Fontana delle Tartarughe, Piazza Mattei

Posted on Feb 26, 2009 | 17 comments

I have a secret to confess. I am in love with this fountain. Located in Piazza Mattei, right by the Jewish Ghetto, it was under restoration when I first moved to Rome. When it was finally revealed a few years ago, the results were spectacular. “The boys,” as I’ll call them, are so delicate and refined. Last month NYC/Caribbean Ragazza wrote a great blog with photos about the Fontana delle Tartarughe, which reminded me that I needed to get out and photograph it. Shelley over on Really Rome also wrote a nice blog entry with some of the history on the fountain a few years ago. I’ll leave the words to others and photos for me! By the way, if you’re wondering why the coloring of the first photo looks different, it’s because I used a custom white balance for effect. What’s white balance? Basically it’s a reading that tells the camera what in your photo should be white and then all the other colors are based from there. The street lamps in Rome generally give an orange glow, hence the orange tinge to the evening photos. However, I liked the bluish tinge the custom white balance gave to that top photo. See all the crystals cascading down in the door behind the fountain? That’s the Swarovski crystal store also in the piazza…tres chic.

And just so you can all find it, once again here’s a Google map of Piazza Mattei.

By the way, if you are in Rome and free tomorrow, don’t forget that the opening for the group exhibit I’m participating in at Gloss is opening. Aperitivo starts at 7:30 pm. For details you can see my post about the RomePhotoBlog exhibit I did there are the end of January.


  1. Love the fountain-I especially like the blue tones in the first photo also the last photo. I’ll have to visit

  2. haha i remember when i lent you my camera last year, you took 100 pics of this fountain! photos look great jess. looking forward to tonite!

  3. Great photos!

    Have a great time tonight! 🙂 Can’t wait to hear all about it!!

  4. To take-on a fountain like this one at night, you have to be pretty sure of what you’re doing…
    Obviously you are: great photos!

  5. how was the show? I wish I could have come..still in bed recovering

  6. Jessica, so nice to see your blog coming along and growing. You’ve only been at this for a few months I believe, yet your growing readership, getting recognized, exhibiting, all in such a short time. I’ve been watching several local blogs back here and they seem to be stalling (including mine, but that’s OK). Your photos have a unique ‘right there’ feel to them. Keep up the good work, and have fun!

  7. Great images. You can get spectacular effects by playing with white balance.

  8. Thank you everyone, I’m glad you like the photos so much! To be honest I wasn’t sure how much I liked them the night I took them, but after taking a few days away from them, I’m pleased with how they came out. The show went well, a smaller turnout this time because it was so last minute, but different people came, so that’s great.

    Snap – Wow, really thank you very much for the compliments. To be honest I’m not sure why my blog would do any better than anyone else’s, yours included! You have such great photos. I think I’m fortunate that Rome is so well known and people want to see photos and it also gives me lots to work with. Also Italy is such an artistic country that I’ve found that with just a little looking there is opportunity to display your work. There are a lot of young people organizing exhibits all the time and which gives unknown artists the chance to get some recognition.

  9. Nice photos, love the colours and beatiful art.

  10. sigh. You know how I feel about this fountain.

    Thanks for telling us how you achieved the colors in the first photo.

  11. Jess I’m in love with this fountain tooooo! Dome used to make fun of me for getting super excited every time we passed it (on the way to Rialto, of course).

  12. Hi Paul, thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your comment, glad you liked them!

    NYC – Yes,your post reminded me I’d been meaning to post about it! No prob about the photo tip. The site I linked to had a lot of good information.

    Ang – Ciao bella! Haha, this fountain is awesome, Dome should appreciate it!

  13. Very nice photo the night. I like.

  14. Very nice the photo the night. I like.

  15. Very nice the photo the night. I like. I like !!!

  16. In case you didn’t know, there is a copy of the Fontana delle Tartarughe in San Francisco, in the square across from Grace Church.

    • Really? I had no idea. I wonder how that came about, do you have any idea?

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