If you have ever been to Rome, you have probably noticed the proliferation of fountains dotted around the city. One of my favorites has always been a small fountain on a side street near the National Archives. The Fontana dei Libri was built in 1927 by the architect Pietro Lombardi, part of a large project of the municipality aimed at creating urban symbols that reminded of the ancient districts and the lost professions.
The Fontana dei Libri is characterized by an arched niche, and in the center you can see the head of a deer, a symbol of the Rione di Sant’Eustachio, with the water that flows from four points on the four books. Two nozzles come out from the upper books while two others from the bookmarks in the central part of the sculpture, symbols of knowledge that flows relentlessly from the size of the books.
The last time that I was in Rome the fountain was becoming quite grotty, but I was pleased to see that it has recently been restored and is looking as good as new.
The book fountain can be found in the neighborhood of Piazza Navona. From the square, walk eastwards in the direction of the Pantheon toVia degli Staderari.