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Hills, Stars, and Water – A Chigi Fountain

Posted on May 27, 2009 | 24 comments

First, I want to say hello to all the people who have come to visit my blog since I was sited as a Blog of Note yesterday. I have no idea how they chose me, but I’m quite happy about it!

Now on to the photo. With the temperatures rising in Rome, fountains like the one pictures are life savers. This little guy is on Via di S. Vito, next to one of my friend Katie’s favorite restaurants, Trattoria Monti. If you’re a big dork like me then you’ll instantly recognize that this fountain was built by Pope Alexander VII, who was a member of the Chigi family. How do I know that? Well, the fountain is built in the shape of six “mountains” each with a star. Popes always choose a coat of arms when they are elected and especially during the Renaissance and Baroque periods of building they would put that crest on everything they had a part in funding. That’s why you’ll see a shield with doves in Piazza Navona (for the Pamphili family) and why the so called “Barberini Bees” are all over fountains and buildings in the city. Chigi was particularly worried that once his reign finish people would rip his coat of arms off of everything, so he doubled up on the symbols, having both mountains and stars. This great site RomeArtLover has an explanation and photos of some examples where you find the Chigi legacy.

As for the fountains, they’re really essential. I see a lot of tourists afraid to drink from them, but unless it’s the Trevi Fountain or somewhere where people are splashing around, you can definitely drink from them. In fact, when it’s scorching hot the best thing to do is save your empty water bottle and fill it up again in one of these fountain or even the nasoni which are all over the place. The water in Rome is good….you don’t need to drink bottled water! That’s just some sort of old myth, don’t know why it still exists.

By the way, if anyone is interested, I put together a Flickr slideshow of images for my friends to post over at Travellious. I also write a bit more about what I’m hoping to do with the blog.

Oh also, I know some people probably want to see some pictures capturing Champion’s League. Sorry to disappoint but it’s insanely crowded here with people, many of whom have been drinking since this morning!, so I’m avoiding being in the heart of all that.

24 Comments

  1. That’s a great photograph!

  2. so, it save to drink water in Roma. If i visit Roma, i will try it.

  3. Congrats on the Blog of Note award. Well deserved. Interesting bit of history, thanks. I enjoyed the water from the nasoni and found the water to be surprisingly cool and refreshing.

    would have been fun to be in Rome for Champion’s League, but without tickets, the TV is the best bet. I’ll be hanging on the edge of my seat for Manchester United.

  4. Thanks CTVicky!

    Pleasant – Yes, definitely safe. Italians do drink a lot of bottled water, but that’s a personal choice, nothing to do with the water. Give it a try!

  5. Rome is such an amazing city!

  6. Nice blog! We really love Rome and have always rented the same apartment at Porta Metronia. Staying in a neighborhood is a great way to experience Rome.

    We just got back from a week in Paris. My “thing” is gardening, so I took hundreds of photos of Giverny (Monet’s Garden) and the gardens in Paris.

    I’ll check back often!
    Thanks,
    Cameron

  7. I can totally relate. I think I’ve definitely spied other people drinking first before I braved the same. I think its part hesitation on the water quality, as well as being embarrassed at drinking from what looks to be a big nipple. But its always worth it! Great pic!

  8. good night, blogger walking. i like with all content your blog, hopefully inspire for blogger other, visit to my blog

  9. Jessica, no wonder why you have been chosen as blog of note. You do photograph with feelings.
    Olivier

  10. Greetings from the U.S. East Coast! I LOVE your blog, it’s definitely one of my favorites now. I’ve always dreamed of making it to Italy one day, and your photos are so much fun to look at. Thanks for sharing them with us here in “blog addicts land”!
    http://pocketfulofbliss.blogspot.com

  11. Hi, I also found you via Blogs of Note. Do you like the movie Angels and Demons? I read the book years ago, and saw the movie at the weekend. Really enjoyed it. Unlike Da Vinci Code it was as good as book (in my humble opinion)… Congrats on your great blog

  12. Dusty – Glad you were able to give it a try! I really don’t follow soccer at all so I have no idea who will win, but I have been hearing people say Manchester is favored.

    Cameron – You stumped me! I had to look up Porta Metronia on Google Maps, but I see where you are saying. That’s a great location! Central enough but away from the crowds. I’m no gardener but my one pride and joy is the lemon tree that is on my terrace.

    Boomka – Ha! Ok the nipple comment is pretty funny 🙂 The nasoni have a little hole in the top of the spout so if you plug up the bottom with your thumb it will shoot out like a drinking fountain.

    Olivier – That is one of the nicest compliments I’ve gotten. Really. You made my night 🙂

    Multiple Personalities – Thank you! Glad you found me and happy to hear that you’ll return to see my glimpse of Rome.

    Liska – Thanks for stopping by! I’ve got to say no to Angels and Demons. Years ago I read DiVinci code when it came out (it was before the hype and as an art historian I thought it was interesting someone would write fiction incorporating art history). However, it’s just fiction! And so many people take it as fact. I started to read Angels and Demons a few years ago but couldn’t get past the first 50 pages. Not to say it’s not entertaining, but I kept getting annoyed at all the easy errors he made.

  13. I love this blog!!! I love the bits and pieces of history that go along with the pictures. I’m glad this is considered a Blog of Note. My blog is totally different, but Italy is a big part or at least, it will be once my friend and I can have time to work together to get it going. : ) Grazie for your pictures and honest and also humorous comment about the vending machines in a post further down.

  14. I remember when I went my dad refilled his bottle at a fountain and I thought he was completely bonkers! I’m still somewhat skeptical, but maybe I’ll give it a try next time I’m in Italy. I’m sending your blog link to my friend Haley who will be studying abroad in Rome come August: http://haley-ciao-bella.blogspot.com/

    I’m sure she will be interested!

  15. yea…heard bout you from blogs of note. well, you deserve to be noted. look at your photography! different and i like this picture.. so cute.. it’s like a sculpture to remind people to not forget what their mothers have done…lol…

    hugs

  16. I am so excited to have come across your blog. Rome is one of my favorite places on earth. I can’t wait to sit and read all of your posts. Great photos.

  17. Hi Jessica,
    I read about your Blog of Note honor on one of the “Italy e-mails” I receive–Just Go. Saw it today. I hadn’t made it to my igoogle page for a couple of days.
    So Congratulations!!!
    Joan
    P.S. I think I will change my identity on my posts to La Professa. I came up with that for a couple of reviews I wrote for Barnes and Noble.

  18. Teacup – Glad you like the blog and appreciate the writing as well as the photos. Good luck with your blog.

    Shawna – See? Dads aren’t always crazy, sometimes they know what’s up 😉 Thanks for sending the link to your friend. I hope she has a good time here.

    Kenny – Sooo funny. Seriously…does everyone really think it looks like a breast? Hehe, I really didn’t see it at the time.

    Michelle – Grazie mille. Hope you like what you read and leave some comments.

    Joan – Like the new name! Glad you told me so I know it’s you. Yes, Angela who runs that blog follows me on Twitter so I knew she wrote something about it. Very nice of her.

  19. Very good Blog, Congratulations! keep doin it cause is great!

  20. I am browsing past blogs of note and just came upon yours – neat pics. Love the fountain here!

  21. Shalom Rome! I’m just now looking around in your blog. I see why you were chosen for Blogs of Note.
    Greetings from Jerusalem.

  22. Thanks pan, Karen, and Dina! Welcome to the blog and I hope you return.

  23. Simply Amazing..dont even think of anything else jus blog on..Sujith

  24. 1000000 – Thanks so much! Hope you come back. I see you teach martial arts. How great. I studied for about 8 years, but stopped when I began university. I still miss it sometimes.

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