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Providence Italians Disgusted With Flowers Filling Up Famed Federal Hill Fountain

The fountain in DePasquale Square on Federal Hill in Providence  broke over the winter and no one has fixed it, leading city officials to plant flowers there to make up for the lack of flowing water.

But local residents and business owners are having none of it.

“It’s ridiculous. It looks like some kind of funeral parlor,” Xiony Bernard, general manager of the Hotel Dolce Villa, told the Providence Journal.

Walter Potenza, who runs a cooking school nearby and also gives tours of Federal Hill, told the Journal that the fountain is a centerpiece of Italian culture in the neighborhood:

“The fountain, per se, is a structure, but the water itself is a reflection of the Italian lifestyle, to the sitting outdoors, the romance of being Italian, to dining out, to enjoy a cup a coffee, the espresso, the pastry, the glass of wine. To chat, to meet. It’s a meeting place.”

City officials never drained or cleaned the fountain in October, and it cracked over the winter; a spokesman for the city said fixing it will cost upwards of $265,000.

Local business owners are anxious to get the fountain working for the busy summer season.

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