Water Wednesday #3

This week has been a beating. That’s the only way to describe it. I wish I could curl up into a shell and be left alone for awhile. This feeling inspired me to share two awesome turtle fountains with you (which cheered me up considerably)…

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The first is from Rome, Italy and was built in 1581. And, coincidentally this is THE fountain that started my fountain obsession many years ago! There were supposed to be more dolphin/shell combos but the water pressure would only make four spit in a worthy manner – the originally planned eight would only dribble. By the time we saw it 418 years after it was built the four dolphins were merely dribbling too.

The turtles were added in 1658 by request of the Pope du Jour… seems like an odd thing to add but it makes for a charming fountain. So nice of the nude guys to give them a lift over the edge!

I like to think of the Pope and the sculptor (Bernini) standing side by side contemplating the addition… sheaves of wheat? orbs representing the world? serpents? Wait! WAIT! How about scrambling little turtles? Ah, bene! Let’s go drink…

Rome is great for fountain lovers. It is a city of monumental and allegorically fantastic water features – none of which would fit in a personal garden unless you too were the Pope du Jour. This one is on the large side, so technically it is disqualified from Water Wednesday but, after all these years,I can’t get those charming turtles off my mind so I made an exception. It is my blog after all. I have called it “The Turtle Fountain” all these years. So do the Romans but it sounds better when they say it “Fontana delle Tartarughe.”

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The second fountain for today is from Florence, Italy. It is definitely garden size. I love this turtle as does everyone else as you can see by his head being polished all shiny by caresses over the years. The putti I could do without. And it seems the turtle feels the same because you can see him trying to push him off with his flipper… damn freeloading putti. (The fountain photo collection doesn’t have a lot of chubby angel/children but I made an exception in this case.) Another nice feature of this fountain is the mosaic tile background. It didn’t have the typical “non potable” (do not drink) sign and it is at a convenient height so we assume people still use it as a very fancy drinking fountain.

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And the bonus feature for this week is a picture of me at the Vatican. The tie in here is that it is good luck to touch St. Peter’s toe which is also shiny like the turtle’s head (you’ll have to take my word for it.) The reason I include this photo is because we waited for a long time to get a clear shot of me and the famous toe. This was pre-digital camera days. When we got the photos back weeks later there was this dude in the snap like we were buddies or something! And on top of that he’s touching the wrong toe! Peter swears he didn’t see him (my husband Peter that is, not the saint.)

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So that’s installment #3… I promise I’ll come out of my shell for the next Water Wednesday…

LaManda JoyWater Wednesday #3

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