There are a couple of things that make me think fondly of Bologna. One is that it is a city of communists who work together to make Bologna one of Italy’s best functioning and wealthiest cities. Take that you supply-siders.
The other things I think fondly of are Bologna’s major fountains—often featuring protagonists who’d get 20 to life for the scenes they’re acting out if they were flesh and bones instead of carefully sculpted lumps of bronze. Just look at Neptune over there, cavorting with the putti, hips cocked like a 50’s porn star who’s forgotten his obligatory socks.
Its odd that putti, the plural of putto are young and pudgy boys, often with wings. They are not cupids or cherubs though. Wikipedia says that putti have “associations with Aphrodite, and so with romantic – or erotic – love.” Alas, one never mentions the female version, putta because it’s short for “slut.” Hence pasta alla puttanesca becomes “the whore’s (or slut’s) pasta.”
And what does that say for old Nettuno? I have no idea. He’s certainly striking a confident pose for a guy without underwear and surrounded by a gaggle of putty-fleshed putti.
But it’s what’s below that makes the scene at Bologna’s favorite meeting place odder still. There are lactating nereids down there. But those will have to wait for another time. I gotta go.