Photographer's Note

Fountain in via Madonna di Loreto
Going in the direction of the San Matteo Hospital, in the center of Via Madonna di Loreto, there is an ancient fountain. It remains on the right, along the road that leads to the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Loreto, an interesting Renaissance church that is worth visiting. The area was rich in water already in 1584, when a spring prodigiously gushed out on the square in front of the church. The fountain therefore has ancient origins: it served to quench the thirst of pilgrims who came from afar and traveled the long straight road to venerate the votive fresco Madonna and Child, attributed to Jacopo Siculo, which was then incorporated into the sanctuary. But it is legitimate to believe that it also had the important function of a drinking trough during the annual livestock fair, established in 1598 by Clement VIII, right in the stretch of road between Porta S. Matteo and the church. Path also beaten by those who went to the city from the fertile plain of Santo Chiodo, and by the transhumant flocks that made their way towards the Lazio tides. A fountain therefore at the daily service of people and animals.
The water comes out in a continuous jet from a feline head, probably a lion, but the features are hardly distinguishable because they are very worn. The brick basin, low to facilitate access to animals, is rather run down; a small iron grid, placed under the water jet, favors an adequate support for demijohns and bottles that the inhabitants of the area still love to fill for daily consumption. To admire the portico in front, also provided for the benefit of pilgrims, to shelter their journey from bad weather. It was built in stages between 1691 and 1802; it extends for about 300 meters and consists of 81 arches and 82 pillars. Between arch and arch, the coats of arms of the noble families who subsidized its construction are clearly visible.

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Additional Photos by Silvio Sorcini (Silvio1953) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 20282 W: 130 N: 42734] (224467)
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