The Fontana delle Anfore (Fountain of the Amphorae) was designed by the Roman architect Pietro Lombardi and erected in Piazza Testaccio in 1927.
Lombardi's use of amphorae (the terracotta vessels in which wine and olive oil was transported) as a motif was a direct reference to Monte Testaccio, the nearby artificial hill that gave the district its name.
Monte Testaccio, also known as Monte dei Cocci, is composed almost entirely of testae (cocci in Italian), fragments of ancient Roman pottery. The vast majority of the fragments come from broken amphorae dating back to the time of the Roman Empire.
It has been estimated that Monte Testaccio is made up of 53 million amphorae, all of which had been used to import olive oil, mainly from Spain.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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