The Fountain of Shame!

In the heart of Palermo’s  Piazza Pretoria, stands Fontana Pretoria, the work of sculptor Francesco Camilliani in 1554 and 1555

It’s decorated with animal heads, nymphs, monsters, ornamental staircases and balustrades as well as the gods and goddesses who make up the inhabitants of Mount Olympus.

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However, this ornate decorative wonder was not exactly welcomed with open arms by the somewhat prudish inhabitants of the city.


The multitude of naked figures was met with horror and approbation.


Originally intended for a private Florentine villa and not a public square the fountain was moved from its original setting to Palermo in over 600 pieces to be reassembled as a showcase of its waterworks system.


In time, Palermitans learned to live with this naked outrage, although they stubbornly referred to it as Fontana della Vergogna, or “Fountain of Shame.”

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Make up your own mind whether or not it still has the power to shock and outrage! There are rather a lot of rudey nudey bits on display it has to be said. . .



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