Palermo‘s symbol is commonly called by Sicilians the “Fountain of Shame” due to the nakedness of its many statues, 48 to be exact, depicting cherubs and mythological figures.
The stories say that a Spanish nobleman, Don Luigi Toledo, decided to embellish the garden of his Villa in Florence with a monumental fountain. But when he died, his son in debt put it up for sale and it was immediately bought by the Senate of Palermo, it was dismantled into 644 pieces and loaded onto ships to be transported to Sicilian land.
To make way for the monumental construction, several houses in Piazza Pretoria were also demolished, but the fountain never arrived complete as some sculptures were damaged during transport and others were retained by the owner. So many interventions were necessary for the reassembly of all the pieces.
The fountain today attracts thousands of tourists and represents corruption and bad habits for the people of Palermo. Symbolic and enchanting for its legends, it remains one of the most evocative places in Palermo.