The Trevi Fountain is known throughout the world as one of the most beautiful fountains ever conceived by man. It is undoubtedly a must for anyone who wants to visit Rome.
- Toss a coin into the fountain to have the prophecy fulfilled.
- Look closely at all the subjects in the fountain and find out what they symbolize.
- Find the ancient Roman aqueduct that brings water to the Trevi fountain.
- After seeing it by day, return to admire it at night with lights.
Trevi Fountain: what to see and what to do
The trevi fountain is a bubbling masterpiece of white marble and turquoise water that takes up an entire square. And undoubtedly the most famous fountain in Rome.
This grandiose sculptural complex 20 meters wide and 26 meters high was designed in 1732 by Nicola Salvi and depicts the sea god Ocean on a horse-drawn chariot, driven by tritons.
For a city like Rome, the Trevi Fountain is a fairly recent monument:
throughout the history of Rome several popes imagined building a monumental fountain at this location. But it was not until 1732 that Pope Clement XII approved the design proposed by Nicola salvi.
Building the Trevi Fountain took thirty years from the start of construction.
The legend of the coin toss in the Trevi fountain
According to tradition, throwing a coin into the water of the Trevi fountain guarantees that you will return to Rome.
Beware though! There is only one way to toss the coin for the prophecy to come true: you have to toss the coin with your right hand, over your left shoulder while keeping your back to the fountain.
Thanks to this tradition about 4,000 euros are collected and donated to Caritas every day.
Symbolism in fountain sculptures
The central statue standing under a triumphal arch is Ocean, the personification of a huge river surrounding the world from which all waterways in ancient mythology are derived.
Oceano’s shell chariot is drawn by two horses driven by mermen. One merman struggles to tame a restless animal, while the other leads a much calmer horse.
The horses symbolize the different moods of the sea.
The two female statues in the niches on either side of Oceano represent Abundance (with the fruit basket) and Salubrity (with the laurel wreath). They mean the benefits provided by clean water.
The four female characters at the top of the attic represent the beneficial and fertilizing effects of water in the different seasons (fruits, crops, harvest, and flowers).
Two reliefs that explain the history behind the water source can also be seen. One depicts a virgin (hence the name Acqua Virgo ) showing Roman planners where to find the water source; the other shows Marcus Agrippa (who also built the Pantheon ) ordering the construction of the aqueduct.
The Trevi Fountain and La Dolce Vita
In this enchanted spot in Rome, Anita Ekberg bathes in the well-known scene from Federico Fellini’s 1960 film “La Dolce Vita.”
No doubt this scene also helped make the Trevi Fountain so famous.
Apparently, despite the boots she wore during filming, the actress caught a cold due to the cold. In fact, the scene was shot during the winter.
The ancient aqueduct
- Si può visitare lo scavo archeologico sotterraneo di Vicus Caprarius pagando una piccola quota. Potrete vedere il sito originario della sorgente dell’acqua e i resti di antiche case romane.
- In alternativa potete anche andare a piedi da via del nazareno e osservare attraverso il cancello per intravedere gli archi dell’acquedotto.
- L’ultimo modo per vedere l’acquedotto romano è di recarsi alla Rinascente, un moderno centro commerciale, e scendere al livello sotterraneo. Qui durante il restauro dell’edificio è stato scoperto un tratto dell’acquedotto che è rimasto visitabile gratuitamente.
Curiosities about the Trevi Fountain
- The Trevi Fountain gets its name from the fact that it is located at the intersection of three streets (“tre vie”)
- More than 1 million euros a year are raised for charity thanks to the coin toss
- You cannot bathe in the fountain or eat at the edge. Punishable by rather large fines.
How to get to the Trevi Fountain
The Trevi Fountain is located in Piazza di Trevi, in the heart of Rome, a stone’s throw from many other important places. It is easily accessible by subway or on foot.
Subway: Line A, Barberini or Spagna stops
Buses: 52, 53, 61, 62, 63, 71, 80. 116, 119
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