There was a period when Treviso residents drank wine flowing from the “breast” of the Fontana Delle Tette fountain, one side of white wine and the other red wine.
Fontana Delle Tette is an old fountain of the city of Treviso under the Republic of Venice, with the name meaning “Fountain of the breasts”. A statue of a woman with water (symbolizing breast milk) flows to her breasts. Few visitors know that what used to flow from this statue is not the water it is today.
The current replica is located in a small yard by the side of Calle del Podestà.
In 1559, Alvise Da Ponte, the mayor of Treviso, ordered the sculptor to sculpt a marble fountain of a half-naked woman to celebrate the record drought. Since then, when a new mayor took office in the fall of each year, free wine will flow from the chest of the statue for three days for people to celebrate. One side is white wine, one side is red wine. Gradually it became a tradition of Venice.
The original statue was placed in the Praetorian Palace, a 15th-century palace (now located in the city of Koper, in northwestern Slovenia). Legend has it that when Napoleon the Great entered the palace, his soldiers opened fire on the statue because they thought it was a symbol of the local authorities. Fontana Delle Tette disappeared in 1797. At the end of the 19th century, the parish priest Luigi Bailo found and restored it when the Treviso Museum was founded.
A new version of the fountain was erected in 1989, but only water flowed out from the breast – instead of alcohol like Treviso’s heyday. The original Fontana Delle Tette, though damaged, remained safe in the glass case of the Treviso Loggia dei Cavalieri Museum in the heart of today’s city center.