I was walking to a bus stop near the Via del Vascello fruit and vegetable market yesterday when I passed this.
It looks like this little guy – Jesus presumably – is leaning against the fountain to have a rest. And a well deserved rest at that: he has many gouges on his body and is missing half a leg. There was no one around and no indication as to whence the weary traveler had come. I briefly toyed with the notion of letting him crash at my place for awhile until I tried to lift him and discovered he was made of stone.
This cast iron fountain, by the way, is called a nasone, which means big nose. That’s because — I suppose I am stating the obvious — the spigot apparently looks like a big nose. The design of these free water fountains dates to the 19th Century and there are 2500 of them scattered around Rome. You can fill up your trusty water bottle at the nasone or, if you cover the bottom of the spigot with your finger, water will squirt out of a hole in the top for ease of drinking. There’s a Google Map that shows where all the Roman nasoni and other fountains are located.