Earlier this April, I wandered the cobblestone streets of Rome, Italy in search of ancient artifacts and baroque beauty. What I discovered was that Roman design is best embodied in a specific architectural piece — the water fountain.
The Eternal City has a long history with water, beginning in Ancient Rome when elaborate aqueduct systems were established to transport water from rivers and lakes to to the fountains and baths of the city. The golden age of fountains arrived in the 17th and 18th centuries with the Catholic Church’s commissioning of fountain construction in Rome’s various piazzas (city squares.) As works of art, fountains contained sculptures depicting revered gods, goddesses, and other mythical figures that make up the foundational narrative of Rome.
No city compares with Rome for the volume and beauty of its fountains. Rome is vastly populated with fifty monument statues and thousands of smaller fountains, resulting in over 2000 fountains in all — the most of any city in the world. Often located near architectural works and in the piazzas and gardens, these water structures provide a gathering spot for people to drink fresh water and quench their thirst, to marvel at the marble beauty of the decoration pieces, and to make a wish by tossing coins into the basin.
From the oldest fountain in Rome in Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere (dating back to the 8th century) to the most famous fountain of all, Trevi Fountain, here are some snapshots of the towering creations and flowing water streams I found during my recent Roman holiday.
All photographs were taken by Elizabeth Rosalyn The unless otherwise stated.