In September 2010, Pete and I made a return trip to Siena – a city that we fell in love with on our first visit and we now think of as our second (and maybe future) home. I’ll blog later in more depth about how this Medieval Tuscan city , its people and customs intrigued us, delighted us and eventually stole our hearts, but for now (and as an excuse to try out this new home for my blog) here’s a photo essay of two days we spent searching for all seventeen contrada fountains.
It was a great couple of days, with no idea exactly where the fountains were and armed only with a rough map of the contrada boundaries and a few vague clues relating to the churches in each of the districts, we ended up covering most of the city, finding places we’d never seen before. In the end we only found sixteen (and one of those I’m still not 100% sure that it counts) but at least the elusive Ram fountain gives us and excuse to go back. Not that we need one…
Lupa - The She Wolf.
Bruco - The Caterpillar (Our adopted contrada - thus I'm honour-bound to yell "Bru-Bru-Bruco!" and wave a flag.)
Istrice - The Porcupine
Drago - The Dragon (Unusually this fountain only includes the colours of the contrada rather than an image of their symbol)
Selva - The Forest (The winner's of this year's July Palio, Selva' flag is a rhino in a forest.)
Onda - The Wave
Tartuca - The Turtle (Winners of the Aug 2010 race)
Chiocciola - The Snail (When Chiocciola win a race this fountain spurts wine instead of water.)
Pantera - The Panther
Aquila - The Eagle
Civetta - The Little Owl
Giraffa - The Giraffe
Leocorno - The Unicorn
Nicchio - The Shell
Torre - The Tower
Fontebranda - This is the one I'm unsure about. It's in Oca - The Goose - and acts as the contrada's baptismal font, but seems so lacking in Oca related heraldry. Of course it was one of the most important water sources for the city throughout its history, so maybe the Oca members consider it important enough to have pride in it without putting their symbols on it. But I can't help the feeling that somewhere there's a goose we didn't find - and since Bruco and Oca have 'no official relations' (the closest our contrada gets to having an 'official' enemy) perhaps it makes sense that we were never going to find it.