The Magnificent Trevi Fountain In Rome

One of the most famous attractions in the city of Rome is the Trevi Fountain, attracting large crowds throughout the year. This page is designed to provide a basic overview of the Trevi Fountain, frequently asked questions and its history.

Where Is The Trevi Fountain

Within easy walking distance of the Piazza Navona and the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain is located in Trevi square (piazza di Trevi). Although it is one of Rome most popular tourist attractions, the trevi Fountain can be a little tricky to find. However, there are signposts on the walls directing you to the fountain and the signs you should look out for are the signs saying: “Fontana di Trevi”. 

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Few places in the world have a larger number of beautiful fountains than Rome and the Trevi Fountain is really the crown jewel in the collection.  The Trevi Fountain is not only Rome’s largest Baroque fountain but also highly regarded as the most beautiful one.  This unique fountain has a long history.  Its origins date back to ancient Roman times and when it served as the terminal point of the aqueduct ‘Aqua Virgo’.  Aqua Virgo translates to “the Virgins Water” and derives from an old Roman legend.

The Legend Of The Fountain

The legend states that a young maiden revealed the source of the water to a group of Roman soldiers.  Emperor Augustus then ordered a 22 kilometer long aqueduct to be built with the purpose of leading the water to the thermal baths.  If you look at the upper levels of the fountain, you can see a bass-relief on either side depicting scenes from this legend.  After the fall of the Roman Empire, the once so great Aqua Virgo fell into a ruinous state.  It was out of action for almost a millennium until Pope Nicholas the 5th ordered its restoration in 1453.  From that point and on, the aqueduct was known as “Aqua Vergine”.

During this restoration, Nicholas the 5th made sure that the Roman custom of having a fountain at the end point of an aqueduct was kept.  He made sure a small, simple basin was built as the terminal point of the aqueduct. Later, during the reign of Pope Urban the 8th, the fountain was deemed insufficiently dramatic.  The famous sculptor, Gian Lorenzo Bernini was assigned to the project but it was all put on hold when the Pope died.  The planning for a new fountain on the site began again 100 years later.  This time under the Roman architect Nicola Salvi, whose work was inspired by the sketches left by Bernini.

The fountain took 30 years to finish and it stood completed in year 1762.  One of the fountains most striking features is its size.  It stands a massive 25 meters tall and almost 20 meters wide.  The fact that the fountain is built in a small square makes its size even more imposing. However, what the fountain is most known for is of course its beautiful architecture.  The theme of the fountain is the taming and the power of water.  The thundering water tumbles forward, over rocks and petrified vegetation, in a mighty fashion.  Many say it’s the greatest show they’ve seen in a while and when you look at it, it’s easy to understand why.

The fountain is dominated by a several large statues.  In the very centre you will see a man standing in a large shell chariot.  This statue depicts the Roman god of the water and the seas, Neptune, also known as Poseidon in Greek mythology.  The chariot is pulled by two sea horses.  One of them is calm and submissive, while the other one is impatient and restless.  The creature’s different temper is said to symbolize the fluctuating moods of the sea.  Each horse is guided by a triton — a mermaid like creature who formed the escort of marine divinities in the Greek mythology.  The creatures do not only add symbolic meaning to the fountain with the contrast in their mood and poses but they also provide a symmetrical balance.

You can also see a woman statue in the niches on either side of Neptune.  The left one carries a seashell full of fruit, representing abundance. The other lets a snake drink water from her cup, represents salubrity.  Together they are said to represent different aspects of sea.

The upper levels of the fountain shows several long inscriptions.  They are all written in Latin and celebrates the ones responsible for the construction.  The one at the very top says: “Clement the 12th, Supreme Pontiff, embellished with splendid refinement the Aqua Virgo, esteemed for its abundance and wholesomeness, in the year of the Lord 1735, sixth of his office.” The lower one states: “Benedict the 14th, Supreme Pontiff, broughtit to completion.”

If you look into the pool, you will see lots of coins.  A traditional legend holds that if visitors throw a coin into the fountain, they are ensured a return to Rome.  A modern interpretation is that throwing two coins into the water will lead to a new romance and three will ensure either a marriage or divorce.

How Much Money Is Thrown Into The Trevi Fountain

One of the many questions asked by people visiting the fountain is “how much money is thrown into the fountain each day?”

An estimated 3,000 euros are thrown into the fountain each day.  The collected money is donated to charity organizations.  Today, the Trevi Fountain is one of Rome’s most famous tourist sites.  It is much more than just a fountain but a fantastic work of baroque art.  It is regarded as a true jewel of water and stone.

Hotels Near The Trevi Fountain

There are a number of hotels located close to the Trevi fountain that provide accommodation to suit all budgets, tastes and requirements. To find the best deals on hotels for your chosen dates, Booking.com is always a good place to start: Search Now For The Best Deal

The Trevi Fountain Address: Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Roma, Italy