Walking through the narrow streets of Rome you will find many little things which make so beautyful and special this great city! One of them is set not far from Palazzo Madama, the seat of the Italian Senate: I’m talking about the Fountain of the Books!
More than one century ago, during the ’20 of the XX century, the Fascism regime decided to provide each single district of Rome with a fountain which could describe the peculiarities of them. The Roman quarters, named “rioni”, were created over the centuries, from the Middle Ages to the end of the XIX century. But they take their origin from the “regiones” of Augustus, formed by the princeps quite two thousand years ago. The Fountain of the Books underlines the main peculiarities of the Sant’Eustachio Rione, which is plenty of historical libraries and not only… Its name takes its origin from Saint Eustachio,
who was a Roman Soldier, according to the tradition. Obviously, he was pagan. Sometimes miracles could occur also at the Roman people, and it happened to the young Eustachio. He walked in a forest in order to capture a deer with his bow and arrows. When he was very close to the animal, he saw something incredible: the deer started to talk with him, introducing itself as Jesus. Not only this, because Eustachio admired the animal transforming and taking an human shape. From that time, Eustachio became a real Christian and due to his faith he died in Rome.
This is the reason why the fountain is provide with this great head of a deer, with its wonderful horns (a similar statue stands just above the final part of the Church of Sant’Eustachio, in the main square of the rione). They are surrounded by many books, from some water gushes flow. That heavy rock tomes symbolizes the numerous libraries in the area and particularly the palace of La Sapienza, the first seat of the University which was born in Rome in the 1300. This is the reason why this graceful fountain leans on the wall of the ancient building which hosted the University (today embellished also by a fantastic church projected by Borromini). Other little curiosity: water symbolizes also the struggle of the study. Do it similar to the sweat? And how much do you sweat after an intese study period?
So, do you want to look at this special monument? A reason for you to walk in Rome…