The Fountain of the Elephant is the most important
fountain in Catania; it is in the middle of Piazza Duomo. It was
raised by Vaccarini who, in 1736, wanted
to create a monument that could have represented the historical
memory of Catania. The images representings the rivers Simeto
and Amenamo in the base, the elephantn in lavic stone in the
middle, above the Egyptian obelisk and, as a logical conclusion,
the memory of the sacrifice of the virgin and martyr Agatha.The
elephant was often represented in the allegorical images of the
seventeenth century. It symbolized the temperance.
The name Liotru, attributed to the elephant of Catania, derives
from the name of a very cultured Catanese. Eliodoro, who lived
in the Byzantine period. The word Liotru even today is used to
define the enigmatic animal placed by Vaccarini in the middle of
the fountain of Piazza Duomo.