Fountain of the Naiads

January 14, 2009 / Art & Archaeology
Most squares in Rome are pedestrian, so you have a lot of time to linger and relax. Piazza della Repubblica however, (also know as Piazza Esedra), is one giant rotary with buses, cars, and taxis careening about at high speeds—stopping to enjoy the view could get you killed!

However, one reason to take a step back and look is the Fountain of the Naiads. Sculpted by Mario Rutelli, (an ancestor of recent ex-Mayor Francesco Rutelli), each of the naiads symbolize different types of water such as lakes, oceans, rivers, but done in a fun, and rather sexy, way!
While the naiads’ sauciness might only make us smile today, they caused quite a stir back in 1901 when they were unveiled. Apparently, the models that the sculptures are based on were two well known and beautiful Roman prostitute twins from the day. Scandal!

Good thing there was less traffic back then, or Rome might have lost more than one turn-of-the-century gazing moralist…

Jessica Stewart is the Rome and Venice city manager for Context. In her spare time she works on her photography, found on RomePhotoBlog (

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