The Trevi Fountain, Italy – the most famous and largest fountain in Rome
The Fontana di Trevi (or Trevi Fountain), located in the Italian city of Rome, is considered an architectural gem, the largest and most famous fountain in Rome. Every day near the fountain collects hundreds of tourists. When we were in Rome, the largest gathering was just outside the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Square. People tried to be photographed in various poses but because of great crowd of people all failed to get the desired photos, so everyone took more and more photos.
The fountain itself is quite big, and since it adjoins the front of the Palazzo Poli, the majestic front of the palace and the fountain near it are visually perceived as one, which creates a stunning effect of a huge fountain. Yes… The architect Nicola Silvi did an excellent job.
At the foot of the fountain extends Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Roma Italy. Thanks to this, the crowds are at least somewhat dispersed. However, it does not help much either. Size of the fountain de Trevi is 26 meters high and 20 meters wide, so for a small area of Trevi fountain is still too big.
This large-scale and spectacular attraction reminds not a fountain but a scene from some ancient play, made in stone, rather than a source of clean water. One gets the impression that the water in the fountain is only an insignificant addition, thanks to which the composition of sculptures and became known as a fountain.
The Fountain de Trevi is an architectural solution worth seeing both by day and by night. By day, of course, to admire the stone sculptures and see everything in great detail. And in the evening and at night, when it gets dark outside, the fountain is illuminated by numerous lamps and gets completely different, warm colors, which presents itself in a completely different way, and stone sculptures seem as if they are about to come to life.
By the way, throughout history, near the Trevi Fountain many movies were filmed. Among them are such famous ones as “Roman Holiday”, “Sweet Life”, the comedy “Crazy in Love” and many others, it makes no sense to list them all here.
The beliefs and income of the Trevi Fountain
There are interesting beliefs around the Trevi Fountain, one of which says that a man who turned his back to the fountain and over his shoulder threw a coin into it, will come to Rome again. Well, we all know that, and we do it all the time when we go somewhere. More often than not, coins are thrown into the sea.
But the following beliefs are probably not known to many people. If you throw two coins into a fountain, you are sure to promise a love meeting. And if two coins are thrown by people in love, they will be happily married.
Throw three coins, to marriage. Four – to wealth, prosperity and success. But five coins should not be tossed, or should be tossed by those who want to get rid of the intrusive presence of a man, as five coins – to separation.
We did not throw any coins, because we simply do not believe in all these legends and beliefs. We also do not know whether these beliefs are true or not, but if you believe in them, then they are true, and everything will surely come true for you.
All of these marketing moves bring in quite a bit of revenue. The average amount of money that is “fished” out of the fountain each year reaches 700,000 euros. That’s as much as 58,333 thousand euros a month. They say that all the money extracted from the fountain goes to donations, we hope this is true.
The architecture of the Trevi Fountain
The entire composition of the Trevi Fountain is entirely devoted to the sea.
From the center of the fountain, standing on a huge shell like a chariot, rides the mythical god Ocean (Neptune in some sources), with a handsome, muscular figure of Gurkules. The god Ocean majestically stretches forward his right arm, as if controlling the water cascades of the fountain and commanding all the waters of the earth. His shell is pulled by tritons and hippocampus (seahorses), which in the ensemble of the fountain are located just below the Ocean.
Allegorical figures are placed in niches to the sides of Neptune, with bas-reliefs above them. On the right bas-relief is a statue of a young girl. It was this sculpture, of a virgin girl, that once indicated to Roman soldiers where the source of life-giving moisture, so necessary in the hot Italian climate, was located. Later it was from this source that the aqueduct (aqueduct) was built to bring water to Rome. The aqueduct, like the spring, was named Acqua Vergine. Acqua Vergine literally translates as acqua – water, vergine – virgin, which means virgin water, that is pure original water.
Due to the fact that the entire composition of the fountain is made of stone and the water cascades down the niches of stones, the gurgling streams of water noisily rushing down the stones, thereby creating a sound similar to the sound of waves crashing against the coastal cliffs. The sound travels far away from the Trevi Fountain. Without seeing the fountain, we knew by the sound where to go.
A fountain by a fountain, beauty by beauty and blah blah blah. We could talk for a long time. But personally we liked the piazzas of Rome, especially Piazza del Popolo.
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Trevi Fountain is an amazing monument of Baroque art, which occupies one of the first places in the top of popular sights in Rome. The grandiose composition blends harmoniously with the architecture of the magnificent Palazzo Poli. The scale of the idea and the masterful execution of it, the amazing combination of living water and frozen stone create a unique aura in this place.
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Video: Trevi Fountain
History of Construction
The Trevi Fountain’s purest water comes from springs near Rome through a system that was built back in the 1st century B.C. during the reign of Octavian Augustus. The idea of providing the capital of the empire with drinking water was brilliantly carried out by the tribune Marcus Vyspasius Agrippa. This was the idea that, until the 18th century, passers-by could drink from a small spring in an inconspicuous stone bowl on the square in front of the Poli Palace.
Many are convinced that the idea of erecting the fountain belongs to Pope Nicholas V, whose forehead was adorned with a tiara in the middle of the XV century. This is only partly true. The order given to the architect Alberti at the time was never implemented.
The Italians returned to the practical realization of the idea more than 200 years later. Pope Urban VIII decided to decorate the square in front of the Palazzo Poli and commissioned the famous architect Lorenzo Bernini, who developed the original project, to carry out this task. The death of the pontiff in 1644 caused a pause, work resumed in 1700. It was Carlo Fontana, his pupil, who finalized the ideas of the master. He, following the idea of his mentor, enriched the sculptural group with figures of Neptune and his servants. In 1714, the artist died, and the ensemble was left unfinished once more. Fortunately, not for long. Clement XII announced a competition among architects, in which 16 masters took part. The victory went to Nicolo Salvi, and the master brilliantly coped with a difficult task: he created a magnificent composition with a lot of heroes, harmoniously linking its style with the architectural features of the Poli palace. Among the sculptors who built the Trevi Fountain, it would be fair to mention two men: Filippo della Valle and Pietro Bracci. It was they who executed most of the figures that make up the composition.
The implementation of the grandiose plan took a long time – the monumental ensemble was built for 30 years, from 1732 to 1762.
Composition of the Trevi Fountain
The Trevi Fountain is the largest on the Apennine peninsula. Its width is about 50 meters, and the main character, the majestic Neptune, reaches a height of 26 meters. The basis of the composition is the figure of the sea god appearing from the depths on a chariot in the form of a shell, which is harnessed to the sea horses (hippocampus) and newts. The water flows beneath the heroes’ feet, its torrents rushing down the stone steps and making a noise reminiscent of the sound of the surf. It seems that Neptune is about to continue his journey on the foaming sea. In niches on either side of the formidable husband are figures of the Roman goddesses of Health (left) and Abundance (right). These statues are the first to greet the tourists flocking to the square. The composition is adorned with a variety of allegorical figures and bas-reliefs.
Sculptural compositions in detail
Why is the fountain so named? Two versions seem to be the most plausible. According to the first, “trevi” is a distortion of the Latin “trivium”, “three paths”, and it is on this square that the three great Roman streets converge. The second is more romantic: the ensemble is named after the beautiful Trivia. According to legend, this was the name of the girl who showed the Roman legionaries the way to the purest spring. Her figure can be found among the sculptures of the ensemble.
Restoration of the Trevi Fountain in 2014
It seems incredible, but water still flows into the Trevi Fountain through pipes built more than two thousand years ago by the aqueduct known as Aqua Virgo (“water of the Virgin”). The annual flow is about 80,000 m³.
The legend says that the local water is not only healing, but also has magical properties: it is able to give people happiness in love and marriage. To do this, you must perform the following ritual: turn your back to the fountain and throw three coins one by one over your left shoulder with your right hand. The first one is a pledge that you will definitely return to the Eternal City, the second one will bring you together with the love of your life in the near future, and the third one will make your conjugal union strong and long-lasting. Come to the square with your other half? Then you should go to the right side of the Trevi Fountain. There you’ll find little “lovers’ pipes,” the jets of which spurt towards each other. Taking a few sips of this water will make your bond unbreakable.
Trevi Fountain in all its glory
In the 18th and 19th centuries it was enough to simply scoop a full glass from the spring and drink it in order to achieve happiness. The tradition of throwing coins appeared comparatively recently, in the middle of the last century. They associate its appearance with the release of the film “Three Coins in the Fountain” by J. Negulesko. Wanting to get happiness in his personal life in such a simple way was so great that the caretakers were literally falling off their feet, getting from the bottom every day a huge amount of change. It got to the point that in 1991 to throw money into the Trevi Fountain just banned. True, not for long. In addition to the desire to renew the tradition authorities were guided by another economic background – the number of coins taken from the bottom gives for the year amount exceeding 1 million euros. This money goes to a special charity fund.
In 2004, this architectural masterpiece was chosen as a symbol of the elections to the European Parliament. On voting days, a ballot box and the flag of the European Union were installed in the fountain.
Since the composition is located right next to the walls of Palazzo Poli, the tourist, especially from our region, will be interested to know that the second floor of the palace was once rented by the Russian Princess Volkonskaia. It was here that Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol read her his “Inspector General”.
The Trevi Fountain has long been an important “hero” of Italian cinema. It is the setting for the love scene of Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg in Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita”. Adriano Celentano brings Princess Ornella Muti in Crazy in Love, showing the beauty of Rome.
Video: Collecting Coins in the Trevi Fountain
What a tourist should know
Many people ask, what syllable should be stressed in the word “Trevi”? For a real Italian, the answer can only be one – of course, on the first. Such a sign of respect for the hosts of the city will be appreciated by temperamental Italians.
The fountain is available for tourists around the clock throughout the year for free. In the evening and at night the original lighting gives a special flavor to this amazing place.
Tourists at the Trevi Fountain
It’s never deserted here. But if you want a little quieter atmosphere, it is better to come in the dawn hours or late at night. If, however, you find yourself in this place at sunset or even in the heat of the afternoon, the splendor of what you see is guaranteed.
To avoid getting into trouble, remember – it’s strictly forbidden to swim in the fountain or try to get coins out of it. You will be fined fairly large amount of money – at least 200 euros. Eating and drinking in the vicinity of the sculptures is also prohibited.
After admiring the Trevi Fountain, you can visit the Museum of Graphic Arts and Design, which is located right there in the Palazzo Poli building. From the windows you can enjoy a view of the square and the sculptures from several floors.
The Basilica of Saints Vincenzo and Anastasio is within walking distance. In it rests the fragments of the hearts of twenty-two Roman Popes, which were extracted before embalming.
Interesting for tourists is the Academy of St. Luke, whose history goes back to the middle of the 16th century. It is located in the nearby Palazzo Carpegna.
How to get there
The fountain is in the square of the same name (Piazzo di Trevi). The easiest way to get here is to use the metro. Take line A and go either to Spagna or Barberini stations. From there continue on foot. Take Via Vittoria and turn off in Via del Corso and then in Via delle Muratte. From the station Barberini take Via Tritone and turn left in Via Poli. Go ahead a few steps and you can see the famous Trevi Fountain.