When you visit Ancona and you go from Roma Sq toward the port driving Mazzini Corso – commonly named old corso by Ancona people – looking on you right hand you will catch sight of the Calamo Fountain, also known as Fountain of the 13 Pipes.
This very ancient monument, belonging to Greek period, was demolished on 1503 and its stones were used for the construction of the arcade of the Elderly Palace. Based on a draw of the architect Pellegrino Tibaldi (1560), the Fountain was realized as you can currently see it by artists from Recanati; it was included into city walling during Middle Age.
The Calamo Fountain reminds with its name that there existed a marshy environment (from latin word calamus=ditch reed). According to Ancona inhabitants it is called “Fountain of the 13 Pipes” clearly referred to the number of the water mouths. In fact, it is composed exactly by 13 pipes representing as many masks all bronze made except the one set in the middle that is stone made. Those 13 big masks should figure as many satyrs and fauns out, overlooked by an assaulting knight that is a symbol and an emblem for the city of Ancona.
As folkloristic as traditional is the rite of drinking water pouring by the Fountain of 13 pipes as wish to come back to Ancona.
It’s worth drinking at that spring receiving clear and healthy water from Gorgovivo waterworks district, also because tradition has it that if from the fountain you drink, to Ancona you will come back….(Italian form: se alla Fontana berrai, ad Ancona tornerai…)
In the right places nearby the Fountain, we want to suggest you several restaurants and eat-and-drink points where to taste very good typical regional food: crocette (little sea slugs) in the little kiosk just at the side of the 13 pipes; the Cremeria Rosa with its very famous handicraft ice cream; the Bontà delle Marche where you can buy and taste mainly at lunch time very good typical regional food.