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© Copyright 2018

Gianluca Pica
 


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BLOG OF A TOUR GUIDE IN ROME

22/05/2019, 13:44

#unaguidaturisticaroma, #atourguiderome, #romeisus, #rome, #roma, #acqua, #acquarolo, #fontana, #water, #fountain



THE-FOUNTAIN-OF-THE-PORTER


 This small fountain from the Renaissance age is symbolizing the popular side of Rome...



The Fountain of the Porter is one of the "talking statues" of Rome, a symbol for the Roman citizens of the past. What does it mean "talking statue"? Simply it was used in the past by the commoner in order to tell to the powerful men (Popes, noblemen, prime ministers) what the population really think about them. Several papers were attached on the surface of this fountain (like the other five "talking statues"), with satirical words and sentences. But what is amazing about this fountain is the subject: there is an old man who is holding a barrel. From it the water comes out. The man is an "acquarolo", called porter. "Acquarolo" is a Roman dialect word meaning for "the man who brings water". This fine fountain is depicting one of the men who, in the past, used to bring the water from the public fountains of Rome, in order to fill their barrels. Then they used to visit private homes in order to sell the water. Why something like that? Simply because in this way people could avoid to personally go to the fountains to take water! Since the VI century AD, when the ancient acqueducts made by the ancient Romans were destroyed, the citizens must take water from the Tiber (but the river was not so clean), or directly by the fountains. Imagine how the "acquarolo" used to find water at night, in order to avoid penalties! Yes, because according to some literary sources there was a sort of "water tax". Now we can understand who is this strange guy with the barrel...Moreover let me tell you something about the work of art. The Fountain of the Porter was realised at the end of the Renaissance Age, XVI century. For a legend, but it is a real legend, it is a project designed by Michelangelo. Not true! Probably the sculptore was Jacopo del Conto, an active and good artist of that time. He lived where the statue was originally located, in Via del Corso: today it is one of the main shopping roads, but also in the past it was really crowded. So, maybe to preserve the fountain, the work of art was moved here, in Via Lata, a narrow street nearby Via del Corso. Do you see how many things could tell us an ordinary fountain of Rome? Keep in mind how Rome is not an ordinary city... #acqua #unaguidaturisticaroma #romeisus #Rome #atourguiderome #Tevere


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