Hills, Stars, and Water – A Chigi Fountain
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.