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Neptune Fountain – A spicy perspective

The Fountain of Neptune, nicknamed 'al Żigànt' in dialect ('the giant' in Italian) by the Bolognese because of the size of the statue of Neptune, is the result of a collaboration between Zanobio Portigiani, Tommaso Laureti and Giambologna. The monument is associated with a curious anecdote, which tells of a particular expedient used by Giambologna, who wanted to find a way to make Neptune with larger genitals without being discovered by the Church. It seems that the sculptor designed the statue in such a way that, from a certain angle, the thumb of Neptune's hand seems to be sticking out directly from his lower abdomen, suggesting (erect) genitals; as proof of this, a black stone, also known as the 'stone of shame', has been placed in the pavement of the square at a precise point to make it easier to see.

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