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Piazza del Nettuno

4.5/5
27 Reviews
Liked by 1
Square
Open Open 24 hours
Recommended sightseeing time: 1-2 hours
Address: Piazza del Nettuno, 40124 Bologna BO, Italy
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The Fountain of Neptune, nicknamed “Al Żigànt”, “the giant", in the bolognese dialect by the locals because of Neptune’s size, is located in Bologna in Piazza del Nettuno.It was build and completed between 1563 and 1565 by the Palermitan architect Tommaso Laureti.The statue was an early design by Giambologna.In the centre of the tank of the fountain, there is a base where there are four Nereids holding their breasts, from which jets of water emerge. The base is decorated with pontifical emblems, ornaments that - connected to four cherubs - hold dolphins (which are allegorical representation of major rivers from the then-known corners of the world: the Ganges, the Nile, the Amazon River, and the Danube. In the centre of this base raises the majestic figure of the Neptune sculpted by Giambologna's; the statue is a typical expressions of the manneristic theatricality.The Neptune stretches his left hand in a lordly gesture, appearing to be aiming to placate the waves; this posture is interpreted as symbolic exaltation of the new power of the Pope Pius IV: just as Neptune was the master of the seas, the Pope was the master of Bologna and of the world.A local anecdote also tells of a particular expedient put in place by Giambologna, who intended to find a way to make Neptune with the larger genitalia, without being discovered and admonished by the Church originally made him censor the statue. The sculptor designed the statue in such a way that from a particular angle the thumb of the outstretched hand of Neptune seems to appear directly from the lower abdomen, suggesting an erect genital.As proof of it, in the pavement of the square there is a black stone, also called "of shame" placed in a very specific point (at the foot of the entrance staircase of the Salaborsa library). The fountain is an icon, reflected in symbols, commercials and logos.The trident inspired the Maserati’s logo.

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