The Fountain in the Village:
While investigating the state of publicly accessible water we found ourselves rediscovering the beauty of fountains.
It’s July and August. Summer in the northern hemisphere. Cities become hot and for some of us unlivable. The streets seem to swap their inhabitants for the occasional crowd of urban expeditioneers searching for shade and a short refreshing stay. Those of us, who are willing to abandon their routines for a while, will look for places that lead into different kinds of refreshments and ultimately into the wilderness. The retreat, in our case, is a mere hour drive away from the city. In times, when our fathers and grandfathers hadn’t yet access to overseas flights or long distance stays, they choose nearby places as destinations for their weekends ride. So they took their car, we’re talking about the early 1960is, and found a place at the shoreline of a mountainous lake, where they first set up their tents. Some years later they were able to become owners of exactly that piece of land and eventually build a tiny cabin that fulfilled the basic needs for a summer retreat. Today, 60 years later, the shoreline has become a little bit more crowded during the short summer months, but it’s still concealed from mass commodification. This circumstance allowed to preserve the rural scenery and the scent of holy places dating back to the pagan era of the first settlements. Our parents were part of a generation, who took it to themselves to discover the beauties in the surrounding nature without following any leads other than their personal instinct and curiosity: they can truly be named ‘heroes’. Just like Henry David Thoreau defines them in his essay ‘Walking’:
‘The hero is commonly the simplest and obscurest of men.’
Following their leads I paced my footsteps through the villages that surround the lake. On these walks I constantly looked for the trails of the water. The existence of a well with fresh water guaranteed the first settlers the survival of the newly established community.
Please feel free to watch the three short videos and enjoy the history behind the fountains in the neighborhood.
Fountains where essential to the inhabitants of a village. Villages where built around them. The fountain served not only as a supplier of water, it was a focal point for social life. So you can find the most important buildings in an ancient village all grouped around the fountains.
When in the early 19th hundreds the migrant workers crossed the county boarders on small gravel paths and passed the ancient woodlands of the alpine regions, they would carry only their bare necessities with them. And the amount of knowledge on how to work the land. Some of them were highly specialized in one art, such as builders, welders, stone masons.
Here we find ourselves appreciating the freshness of the water spilling from a village fountain. This particular example still shows the inclined stone plane used by the inhabitants until up to the 1960is to do their wash.
Here, at 569 meters above sea level, we find ourselves on a hill formed from remnants from the glacial retreat of some hundreds of thousands of years ago, the time now known as Pleistocene.
In 1907 the works on the acquedotto di Tenna came to an end. It was one of the last constructions that completed the Austro Hungarian defense line against the Italian monarchy, the Fort Tenna. The Great War was already in the planning. It was part of the fervently growing technological aggression in the languages of literary modernism