Drinking from the Big Nose

Drinking fountains are everywhere in Rome, quite useful in a city where temperatures hover above 35C in the summer. These cast-iron fountains are known affectionately as nasoni, or “big noses,” due to the Pinocchio-esque appearance of their spouts. The design dates back to 1872, when the first twenty fountains were installed. Today, there are over […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Europe, Heritage and Preservation by Patrick Donovan Comments Off on Drinking from the Big Nose , , ,

St. Louis Square’s Old Basin

St. Louis Square, often known as Carré St-Louis (though this is, to the surprise of many, actually an anglicism), is one of Montreal’s greatest public spaces. A traditional Victorian park, ringed by beautiful old greystone rowhouses and villas, it first came into existence as a reservoir in 1851. In 1880, the reservoir was drained and […]

Posted in: Canada, History by Christopher DeWolf 2 Comments , , ,

Place Vauquelin

I would be surprised if more than a handful of Montrealers actually know the name of Place Vauquelin, an unassuming little square on the west side of City Hall. That doesn’t matter: it’s a well-used, well-proportioned and pleasant space nonetheless. With a large fountain at its centre, it’s a great place to sit and watch […]

Posted in: Canada, Public Space by Christopher DeWolf 1 Comment , ,

Class Trip to the Spanish Steps

As a hazy dusk descended over Rome, we caught the tram into the old city and wandered past all of the historic sights whose names had filtered into our imaginations through generations of pop culture: the Tiber River, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain. All of them, predictably, were packed by tourists, each one trying desparate […]

Posted in: Europe by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Class Trip to the Spanish Steps , , , ,