Thursday, August 9, 2012

She-Wolf Fountain



This is probably my favorite drinking fountain I've ever used. The wolf, symbol of Rome, is a dual-use spout. Water usually flows out the bottom of the snout, perfect for fillin
g a container, but if you stop it up with a finger, as shown, the water comes out the top instead, in a perfect arc for drinking.

Supposedly there are several of these fountains throughout the city that were put in during the '30s. This particular one is across from the Coliseum.

I was in Rome, wandering around the city on a hot summer day, and I came to the Trevi Fountain. Hundreds of hot tourists were squished into the square. We all gazed longingly at the cool water that was originally put there to be useful, pouring out of beautiful marble in a celebration of functionality that Europeans have always been much better at than Americans. But now police stand guard to make sure that nobody gets any use out of it. They blew their whistles almost the moment my feet touched the water.

Imagine my joy, then, when I found the she-wolf fountain later that afternoon! This fountain attracted crowds, too, but not the grumpy tourists who were visiting something because they had to take a picture of it! These were happy people, so happy to touch water, drink water, play with the delightful functionality of the spout! This fountain was beautiful, too, but not so beautiful that the government had started guarding it.