Daily Rome Shot 93

Photo by Bree Dail.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. IaninEngland says:

    Two of the fierce protectors of the City of Rome…

  2. WVC says:

    That’s a good looking dog.

  3. ThePapalCount says:

    There are hundreds if not thousands of little fountains all over Rome – some very ancient and others not so. But, each is there for a reason and on hot August summer days they’re appreciated by everyone. The water from most is safe to drink and if its not there is usually a sign alerting you to avoid drinking. No matter the water is always cold.
    This little gem was built not far from the Spanish Steps area. Its not ancient but a few hundred years old. While hundreds pass it every day no one really notices it but a few. I remembered it only because I was asked to meet some friends nearby there before having a lunch at Babbington’s. Someone asked if I could translate the Latin inscription. Fr Z, I am sorry…but I stumbled through it rather badly. If you walk down, from the Spanish Steps, along the famous via Condotti – the Fifth Avenue of Rome/the Rodeo Drive of Rome you come to an intersection of Condotti and via Boccho ( I couldn’t remember this street I needed to check a map) but turn left unto Boccho and the fountain will appear on your right. The inscription above mentions the Roman family of Torlonia who no doubt paid for its construction. The Torlonia were/are bankers, merchants and generous philanthropists. They were deeply involved in Vatican financial affairs a century or more ago. Their Roman palazzo is across the street. And the family still occupies the massive place and it remains a center for Roman, ecclesiastical and diplomatic social life. The family has many familial connections to European royalty including the Spanish Royal Family. And here is an interesting note – someone in this noble family is the grandmother to actress Brooke Sheilds.
    The Torlonia family also possessed several noble papal titles including “Prince Assistant To The Papal Throne”. This was highest honor for a layman in the papal household. There were only three families that ever had this inherited papal title and the Torlonia were one and indeed the last.
    When Pope St Paul VI refreshed the papal houselhold fifty years ago he did away with many hereditary papal titles within the Vatican among which were the titles of Prince Assistant. The families holding this title at the time shuttered, balked and snorted at such an egregious act even by a pope. As a compromise the pope agreed to allow the current holders to keep the title until their deaths but they were told they need not show up for papal ceremonies in their traditional uniforms. Appeased, life returned to normal. However, the title is now defunct because the last Prince Assistant to The Papal Throne, Prince Torlonia died, stricken with age, only a couple of years ago. However, the family remains noble and has other hereditary noblilary titles to use. They remain a devout and influential Catholic family.
    And they’ve given us this pretty little fountain.

  4. Semper Gumby says:

    Thanks to The Papal Count. That dog is probably thinking “Non ducor, duco.”

  5. Andrew says:

    Yes, thanks to the Papal Count. And here is a transcription and a translation:

    Marinus Joannes F Torlonia Dux
    locatitiae domus ab se comparatae
    magna parte dejecta ac solo aequata
    in prospectum aedium suarum aream viamque laxavit
    fronte ab inchoato restituta et fontis hilaritate addita
    loci dignitatem urbisque decorem auxit
    anno 1842

    Prince Marinus Joannes F Torlonia
    having acquired a rental property
    mostly falling to pieces and leveled to the ground
    he widened the area and the road for the view of his buildings
    starting from the renovated front and adding a joyful fountain
    he increased the dignity and the decorum of the place and of the city
    in the year 1842.

  6. Lepanto ! says:

    There you are! We’ve been looking everywhere for you since the windstorm…look we know you aren’t happy ’bout no plans to travel to Europe this year but this is taking it a bit too far.

    What’s that? Timmy fell in the well? Oh oh oh ….*Pachy* is in the Tiber. You’ve developed a bit of an accent since you ran off. Right. So, grab a gelato and then see what you can do.

    Whose a good girl…..

  7. Semper Gumby says:

    Thanks Andrew for the translation.

    Latin has many everyday uses. Let’s say you’re on a five-day field exercise in the backwoods of Quantico and run low on beef jerky and Jocko Fuel. When the MPs pull you over and ask why you’re driving an MRAP to the PX, pull out your Zippo, light up a fresh Marlboro and say, “Audentes fortuna iuvat.”

  8. Kathleen10 says:

    That lovely dog is smiling. He must love whoever is taking the photo.
    Maybe dogs need to take over.

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