Fontana delle Tartarughe, Rome, 1988

Love at First Sight

Sometimes it is better to discover things on one’s own. I was never a patient guide follower and know that I have consequently missed so much when traveling. The upside is that unexpectedly encountering something splendid – and recognizing the fact – confers a very different kind of ownership.

One late afternoon in 1988, after a long day of wandering though a very hot Rome, I took a shortcut and found myself, weary and footsore, in a small square: Piazza Mattei.

There in the center was the most extraordinary, jubilant, playful, and joyous fountain: The Fontana delle Tartarughe. Dating from the sixteenth century, it depicts naked youths, dolphins, conch shells, and turtles (apparently a seventeenth century addition I have learned since). It was love at first sight and I did most of the drawings included here within a couple of hours that day.

I have of course been back to see the fountain a few times over the years, but nothing can ever compare to that moment of delightful surprise and immediate infatuation. You never forget the first time!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fontana_delle_Tartarughe

Fontana delle Tartarughe, Rome, 1988
Fontana delle Tartarughe, Rome, 1988
Fontana delle Tartarughe, Rome, 1988
Fontana delle Tartarughe, Rome, 1988
Fontana delle Tartarughe, Rome, 1988
Fontana delle Tartarughe, Rome, 1988
Fontana delle Tartarughe, Rome, 1988
Fontana delle Tartarughe, Rome, 1988
Fontana delle Tartarughe, Rome, 1988
Fontana delle Tartarughe, Rome, 1988
Fontana delle Tartarughe, Rome, 1988
Fontana delle Tartarughe, Rome, 1988

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5 Comments

  1. Your exquisite images perfectly convey the joy of such discoveries! Making me count the minutes until my visit to Rome xx

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