Grace and Shame

This graceful and flirtatious woman is one statue in a series that adorns the (in)famous fountain that dominates Palermo’s Piazza Pretoria. Originally designed and constructed in 1554-55 by Florentine sculptor Francesco Camilliani for the garden of a Tuscan villa, it was purchased and augmented by the city of Palermo in 1573. Depicting nude gods, goddesses,…

Catania’s Persephone Fountain

This fountain, Fontana Ratto di Proserpina (The Rape of Persephone Fountain), exists in Catania at the Piazza Giovanni XXIII. It was sculpted in 1904 for Sicily’s second largest city by Giulio Moschetti (1847-1909). Moschetti is the same sculptor who created the Fountain of Diana in 1906 for Ortigia’s Piazza Archimede. With a nod to the…

Ortigia’s Diana Fountain 

In the center of Siracusa’s Ortigia Island, in Piazza Archimede, is the Fountain of Diana. In 1906, Italian sculptor Giulio Moschetti (1847-1909) designed and constructed the modern, yet Baroque-feeling work that features the goddess of the hunt, wild animals, moon, and childbirth, i.e. the Roman Diana or Greek Artemis. Also present in the sculpture scene…

Palermo’s (In)famous Fountain

This (in)famous fountain that dominates Palermo’s Piazza Pretoria was originally designed and constructed in 1554-55 by Florentine sculptor Francesco Camilliani for the garden of a Tuscan villa. Purchased and augmented by the city of Palermo in 1573, government officials placed it in front of the Palazzo Pretorio, the city’s principal municipal building, with pride. However,…

Catania’s Elephant 

Two rivers meet under Catania’s Piazza del Duomo to feed the Fontana dell’Elefante, or the Elephant Fountain. Designed by G.B. Vaccarini in 1736, this focal point of the cathedral’s square possesses an ancient Roman-era statue of an elephant made from black lava stone holding an Egyptian obelisk that boasts hieroglyphics about the goddess Isis, and…