Public Fountains

As soggy fall creeps through the Netherlands, it becomes increasingly hard to write about how hot and sunny it was in Italy and Croatia just a few weeks ago (and probably still is!).

And yet I persevere.

One of the simple things I loved discovering on our travels was each city’s public fountain(s). For 90+ F daily temperatures, I learned the drill years ago in India: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate without ceasing.

Milan’s Sforza Castle was dotted with these fiesty little dragons. Water pours continuously from their mouths, but if you cover the mouth, water will shoot you basically in the face out the top: less thirst-quenching but infinitely more fun, as proven by me and a roughly six-year-old girl over and over again.

Nearly every town we visited in Puglia had a fountain we could refill our trusty Nalgene at, but aesthetically, the fountain that took the cake was in Dubrovnik.

Depending on which source I check, this grand round structure is known as “Onofrio’s Big Fountain” or “Big Onofrio’s Fountain” (and while the difference clearly matters, I don’t know which is correct!). Dubrovnik’s medieval aqueduct system piped water here, just inside the Pile Gate, from seven miles away for the city’s use and and self-reliance. Today its faces fill thousands of water bottles on a sweltering summer day, and are also useful for dunking your head before beginning the climb along Dubrovnik’s walls.

Which will eventually bring me to another subject: walls.


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