Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Few Of My Favorite Things: Fontana della Tartarughe/The Turtle Fountain

During my second trip to Rome I looked in vain for this fountain after reading about it. I finally “found” it after I moved here. I was meeting someone for dinner and decided to cut through the area known as the Jewish Ghetto. I walked a few blocks and boom, there it was.

There are over 600 fountains in Rome and this is one of my favorites.

Usually during the day there are too many people taking photos so I went back at night to snap these.

The fountain is located in Piazza Mattei. The Mattei family commissioned the work in 1581. One hundred years later my favorite sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini added the turtles.

In 1979 someone stole one of the turtles, so the originals are in the Capitoline Museum. Again I must ask who the heck steals something like this? You can’t sell it.

There’s something very sweet about this about this fountain. I know where it's located, yet I always smile when I come upon it, as if I’m surprised that it’s there.



22 comments:

Los Angelista said...

Someone stole a turtle??? LMAO! Wow, it is beautiful though!

Jessica of Too Tall for Italy said...

That is one of my favorite fountains too! I bumped into it on my way to a Obama rally-heehee. The cafe behind it (you can see it in the last picture) is REALLY awesome! It decorated bohemian/middle eastern style! That became one of my favorite chill spots!

anna l'americana said...

This fountain was always my favorite - I'm so happy that you love it too (I also love that the cafe`is "Bartaruga!")! I keep trying to get a decent photo of it when in Rome but at night the placement of those horrible lights makes it almost impossible to get a shot without some glare. You did amazingly well with your night shots! Tourists and cars during the day make just the right day shot impossible too. I have what must be thousands of photographs of it, but the only one I like is the one in my memory.....

glamah16 said...

It is beautiful.A beautiful ancient city.

LuLu said...

There is so much of Rome I still have to see...this fountain is part of it! :) How beautiful! Great pics!! :)

Scintilla said...

I remember the first time I went to Rome, one of my uncles there gave me a painting of this fountain after taking us to visit it.
It's still hanging in my parent's home.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

los angelista - crazy no? You can't sell it...it's too well known. So I wonder what happened to it. Maybe it's sitting in someone's garage.

jessica - I have to check out that cafe. I've never been there. Thanks for the tip.

anna - thank you. It is hard to get a unblocked shot during the day.

glamah16 - yes it is.

lulu - there are whole neighborhoods I haven't spent time in yet. I'm still getting to know my own.

scintilla - I bet it's beautiful painting.

Jessica said...

This is one of my favs as well! It was closed for renovation when I first moved here and they really did a fantastic job with it all.

SDG said...

It's lovely and it makes me smile as well. Some people have no shame to steal a doggone turtle. lol

homebody at heart said...

What a beautiful fountain! Someday, I'll have to go in search of it and the turtles, too. I don't seem to remember seeing turtles at the Capitoline not that I've memorized everything in it quite yet!

Gil said...

Beautiful pictures! Thanks for posting.

michelle | bleeding espresso said...

Stealing turtles...so silly. Like you said, you can't sell it, and what do you do, hide it when people you don't know very show up at your door? Mah.

Gorgeous photos; this would be one of my favorites too...and I count on you to show me it when I finally make it to Roma ;)

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

jessica - I walked past Four Rivers Fountain yesterday and some scaffolding was going up. I have to go back and see what the story is. I thought the work there was done.

SDG - I know. Really!

homebody - I still haven't made it to that museum yet. I'll have to look for the turtles too.

gil - you're welcome

michelle - It's like when people steal famous works of art. How do you sell it without the authorities finding out? The person who buys it can't display.

I will definitely show it to you.

joanne at frutto della passione said...

My husband took me here on our first date, it is his favourite too!

Lost in Sicily said...

I used to live in Rome and know that fountain well. It is also one of my favorites, and there was a really nice loungy bar right next to it as well, did you notice if it was still there?

mikeb302000 said...

I love that fountain too. Unfortunately, I don't see it so often anymore since moving to Monterotondo.

girasoli said...

The turtle fountain is one of my favorites also. Once I finally found it, I seemed to stumble upon it almost every day (I get lost easily). I can't believe someone stole one of the turtles. I will have to get back to the Capitoline Museum to check out the originals. I think I missed them when I was there. Great post!!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

joanne - how romantic!

lost in sicily - there are two bars on the piazza but I haven't been to either of them yet.

mike - it is lovely.

girasoli - thank you. I really need to make it over to the Capitoline.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Thanks for reminding me of one of the many, many reasons I love Rome so much. That fountain is a gem.
I loved your post with the photo of the Obama girls too.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

CiaoChowLinda - you're welcome. The weather has been horrible so I haven't taken many photos lately. I'm hoping to get out more this spring.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I fell in love with Piazza Mattei and the square as well! Then I bought a small flat there (I'm from Rome) but now had to move out becuase of the baby and the place is too small... But I still love it and go back from time to time, also as I have to rent it (if anybody is interested)...
http://tartarugarome.blogspot.com/
Luca

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

luca - your apartment is lovely. Thanks for stopping by.