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The Quattro Cavalli Fountain

La Fontana dei Quattro Cavalli – the four horses fountain, in Rimini’s Parco Federico Fellini, is a curious monument with a history that is far more interesting than that of your average fountain!

Rimini's Quattro Cavali Fountain

Inaugurated on the 29th of June 1928, during the Fascist period, the statue was made by local artisan Fillogenio Fabbri – probably with some inspiration coming from the architect Gaspare Rastelli (who was responsible for redeveloping the Palazzo del Podesta after the 1916 earthquake). Its inauguration was attended by half of Rimini, with its Podestá Tullo Busignani presiding over the pomp and ceremony (the orchestra of the neighbouring Republic of San Marino provided the music for the afternoon). The fountain was a crowning glory for the seafront, framing the famous Kursaal bathing establishment which was frequented by all the high-fliers of fascist society during the heady days of the 1920s (the Kursaal had also been the centrepiece of Rimini’s Belle Epoque).

After the war, in 1948, in theory to liberate the view of the sea, the Kursaal was demolished by the new left-wing administration; the decision was lamented by newspapers at the time as primarily political – destroying a building that, whilst associated with the fascist regime of the ’20s and ’30s, had a long and profound historic role in Rimini’s development as a bathing resort. The Kursaal was a potent symbol in a class conscious city, where many houses had been destroyed by aerial bombardment (and bricks were at a premium).

Just six years later the Quattro Cavalli fountain was also judged to be undesirable in its original location, and was shunted off to the Parco Marecchia. Later the horses would even be surgically separated to further the indignity.

In 1983, after a long battle fought by a private citizen, Umberto Bartolani, the fountain was re-instated in its original position (at his own expense) with the help of the artisan Ugo Stentorie.

Wandering around the shady avenues of Parco Fellini, it’s hard to imagine a time when the fountain didn’t sit there – and indeed, at this stage, in their original location, the horses of the fountain have become a Rimini landmark.

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