Not quite the the 99
Trust me, there's 99 spouts. The thing that struck me was that it was so unlike say, the Trevi Fountain or such. There's no other spectacular statues or sculptures, just heads representing the 99 castles that participated in the founding of L'Aquila. Originally however, the masques of monks, lions, cherubs, females etc. were only on two walls. Its current trapezoidal shape came later during the Renaissance.
So, just the water spurting from the mouths and thats basically it. It is fair to also add that they all worked unlike, say, the Villa Lante or the Ville D'Este where you can be lucky to see 60% in operation.
A taste of home, sort of...
"Did you know..."
Its true, L'Aquila is hardly a place that attracts thousands of tourists every year and, unless you're actually of Abruzzese origin or really like seeing off-the-beaten track Italy, you probably will not have heard of L'Aquila before (unless you're Italian). I came to L'Aquila because more aquilesi live in my town in Canada (City of Vaughn) than in L'Aquila itself. Mass immigration has emptied more than a few Italian towns, but L'Aquila has more to offer than just a key place in the history of mezzogiorno emmigration. The city's 99 fountains and long history of the resistance of local nobles to foreign rule made this town an important part of Italy's fractured existence after the collapse of the Roman Empire.
L'Aquila, however, is probably most worth a visit because of the refreshing break it offers from much of Italy. First, the city is much cooler than other Italian cities in the summer, and the lack of industry has left the mountain air fresh and pure. Second, much activity in the city is centred on the University, and the multitudes of students give this place a much more eclectic feel than one would expect. Finally, the greenery and mountain views here are spectacular! If you're a fan of mountains and rugged terrain, L'Aquila should be on your list of destinations - make sure, however, to call ahead for a room in one of the city's few hotels. Accomodation is dangerously scarce and you may end up paying much more than expected if you just wander into town.