The Trevi Fountain in Rome: The story about an iconic fountain in Rome.
The Trevi Fountain, or in Italian ” Fontana di Trevi”, is one of the world´s most iconic landmarks but here that hackneyed old term “iconic” really does apply. This fountain has to be one of the, if not the most recognized fountains in the world. Some claim the Bellagio in Las Vegas has that honor but we think there´s no competition. If we are talking about fountains with authenticity, history, and beauty, the Trevi wins hands down. The Trevi Fountain is also the perfect selfie opportunity when you are in Rome! And millions of others agree! What better background could you click on anywhere? This is the best opportunity you´ll ever get. The picturesque Baroque statues carved out of white travertine stone framing the spouting waters create the perfect backdrop. Throw a coin in the fountain and they say you will return again. And who could argue with that?
About the Trevi Fountain
The Trevi Fountain is situated in central Rome in the Piazza di Trevi and is one of the major attractions in Rome that is visited by tourists from all over the world. Be aware that there is plenty of camera activity in front of and around the fountain and many couples immortalize their trip to Rome by posing in front of the fountain. No trip to Rome is complete without a visit to the Trevi Fountain. It´s beauty and sense of history never fail to impress both first-time visitors and those who come back again and again. We think it´s a must.
Why people throw coins into the Fontana di Trevi
Tradition says that if you throw a coin over your right shoulder into the fountain, you´ll be sure to return to Rome one day. We´ll let you discover for yourself whether this is true or not! This tradition of throwing a coin into the fountain originated in ancient times when Romans threw a coin into the water as an offering to the gods. They hoped this would guarantee a safe journey when they traveled, and a safe return. What many people don´t know today is that originally you also had to drink from the fountain! Not recommended these days as the water is recycled and chemicals are added to prevent the growth of algae, etc.
Trevi Fountain in Fellini’s movie La dolce vita
Hardly any movie star other than Anita Ekberg with Marcello Mastroianni has spread the knowledge of the Trevi Fountain more, as the famous Italian film director Federico Fellini let Anita lure Marcello into the fountain and kiss in the most beautiful movie backdrop Rome can deliver. Anita in a black dress that floats in the 50 cm high water, a romantic night in the movie LA Dolce Vita from 1960. It is an iconic movie scene with the now-deceased Swedish-born film diva and Italian film’s first lover Marcello Mastroianni. Anita said, among other things. “It was me who made Fellini famous not the other way around”. And it was this scene that made them both yet more famous, and people started an almost pilgrimage a fountain in Rome. Today counting millions of global visitors a year.
d’Artagnan stole the coins from the Trevi Fountain!
What many people also don´t realize perhaps is that all those coins that are thrown into the Trevi Fountain are donated to a charity called “Caritas”, who buy staple foods for the poor with them. Around 3000 Euros a day, every single day, are thrown into the fountain but don´t even think about trying to fish one or two out. It´s a punishable offense to remove coins from the Trevi Fountain. That´s probably not a bad thing, as the Trevi Fountain was plagued by petty thieves for many years, who fished the coins up under cover of darkness. The most infamous thief went by the name of d´Artagnan and he managed to get away with stealing the coins for an impressive 34 years before he was finally arrested in 2002. His very lucrative career was over.
The Trevi Fountain uses an unbelievable amount of water. It loses 80,000 cubic liters of water every single day that spouts out or lops over the sides which is pretty hard, if not virtually impossible, to imagine. Today, however, wastewater is recycled in order to protect the environment.
Who designed Fontana di Trevi and when was it built?
The Trevi Fountain was originally designed by the Roman architect, Nicola Salvi, and was completed by the Italian sculptor, Pietro Bracci. The fountain is approx. 26 meters high and almost 50 meters wide and is, in fact, made of the same material as the Colosseum, travertine stone. This travertine stone probably came from the town of Tivoli which is situated north of Rome. At that time, constructing monuments using those enormous slabs of stone was a dangerous undertaking. Many were injured and several even died during the fountain´s construction. A stonemason was crushed under a huge block of travertine stone in 1734.
Salvi was not, in fact, the architect who won the competition to design and build the Trevi Fountain. It was actually the Florentine architect, Alessandro Galilei, who won. This did not find favor with the Romans, however, and Salvi was quickly voted in instead. Salvi´s plan for the construction of the fountain was also the cheapest, probably one of the main reasons he was chosen by Pope Clement to build it. Much of the construction was financed by the lottery of the time, which had been reintroduced in Rome. So playing the lottery goes back a long way. Salvi died in 1751, sadly before he was able to see his masterpiece completed.
The Trevi Fountain´s central figure is the god, Oceanus, whose chariot is pulled by two seahorses. On either side of Oceanus are two women. One is the Goddess of Plenty (Abundance) shown spilling riches from her horn of plenty, and the other is the Goddess of Health (Salubrity) holding a cup from which a snake drinks.
Huge renovation projects to restore the Fontana di Trevi
The Trevi Fountain has been restored several times, including one of the larger renovation projects in 1998. All of the stonework was scrubbed and cleaned and any cracks or worn portions were repaired by a skilled team of craftsmen. Pumps were fitted to allow recirculation of the water.
Fashion House Fendi steps in to save the Trevi Fountain
In 2013, the fashion house, Fendi, announced publically that it would sponsor a 20 month – long renovation costing over 2.2 million Euros. It turned out to be the largest renovation project ever in the history of the Trevi Fountain. The renovation project started in June 2014 and was completed in November 2015. More than 100 LED lamps were mounted on/around the fountain in order to illuminate the fountain´s beauty at night.
The Trevi Fountain never sleeps
Before you even reach the Trevi Fountain in the Plaza di Trevio, you can hear the tinkling of the water as you approach from a side street. There is no charge to visit the fountain and it is almost always surrounded by crowds of visitors. You can also view the Trevi Fountain by night during one of the many guided tours. A stroll or two helps to burn off some of those extra calories gained while enjoying the delicious Italian specialties you are sure to indulge in during your stay in Rome. The night-time illuminations give the fountain a more dramatic appearance, so it´s certainly worth seeing again even if you have already visited it during the daytime. One extra plus of passing by it at night is being able to avoid the throngs of people that are guaranteed to be there during the daytime at any time of year.
Location of the Trevi Fountain in Rome:
The narrowness of the old Roman streets and roads in the vicinity of the Trevi Fountain make it impossible for public transport to reach the attraction itself, although bus stops for many bus lines are located on Via Del Tritone close by. Alternatively, you can hop aboard a tourist bus that stops nearby. The closest metro stop is “Barberini” and, from the Spanish Steps, it is just 10 minutes on foot to the Trevi Fountain.
Piazza di Trevi
00187 Roma RM
Travel to Rome?
Read more about Rome. Here you can read about the history of the Colosseum which is not far from the Trevi Fountain, where more than 200,000 gladiators and millions of animals sacrificed their lives to provide entertainment for the Romans. Now it´s your turn to be entertained.
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