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Fontana della Lira

An Old Fountain in Umbertide

[image ALT: An expanse of wall, of irregular stone masonry, about 2.5 meters high and 4 meters wide, with a low brick basin applied to it, surmounted by a small niche-like structure with a stone medallion of a lion's head in the center. It is a fountain in Umbertide, Umbria (central Italy).]

This small fountain is at the base of the old walls of the Rocca of Umbertide.

The small brass-tone plaque placed by the city government reads:

La fontana della Lira
restaurata nell' anno 2002 con le ultime
mille lire dei bambini di Umbertide

Lira Fountain
restored in the year 2002 with the last
thousand-lira coins of the children of Umbertide

On January 1, 2002, the lira, which had been Italy's national currency ever since the unification of the country in 1861, was replaced by the euro; and while lira-denominated coins remained exchangeable for the new money (until 2011, even), in Umbertide someone came up with the idea of involving the city's children in this work of civic pride: for the price of an ice-cream cone — a 1000‑lira coin was about 50c U.S. — they could contribute to the beautification of their environment.

[image ALT: A stone medallion of a lion's head, much worn, with a short metal tube in its mouth. It is a detail of a fountain in Umbertide, Umbria (central Italy).]

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Site updated: 31 Aug 05