The Trevi Fountain is the most famous and the largest fountain in Rome. It has a width of 20 meters and a height 30 meters. It is situated at the Piazza di Trevi or the Trevi square. It marks the end point of the three road junction that leads to Acqua Vergine (previously known as Aqua Virgo), one of the aqueducts which once served as the water source of the Ancient Rome.
In the exact place where the Trevi Fountain is currently situated once stood a small fountain which dates back to the fifteenth century. In 1732 Pope Clement XII organized a contest for architects. The assignment was to design a fountain. Architects had complete freedom with the structure. There were no rules. The winner of the competition was Nicola Salvi. The building of the fountain started in 1732. Unfortunately, Salvi wasn’t able to see the finished product of his efforts as he died eleven years before the completion of the fountain in 1762. After Salvi’s death, the construction was continued under the leadership of Giuseppe Pannin.
The fountain was built in the Baroque style. This style can be recognized with its exuberance and opulence. The original design of the fountain was made by the designer of the Spanish Steps – Gian Lorenzo Bernini who was commissioned by Pope Urban VIII after finding the original fountain inadequately dramatic. When the Pope died, the project was abandoned and the renovations were never pursued. However, some of the original designs of Bernini were retained. The fountain was built on the back side of Palazzo Poli, this is why it is often recognized as part of this building.
Description of the Trevi Fountain
This theatrical masterpiece features the statue of Neptune, the mythical king of the sea, looking strong and majestic as the central figure. He is riding in a triumphal shell-shaped chariot being pulled by two seahorses which are also guided by two Tritons. One Tritons is trying to tame a restless seahorse while the other is guiding the calm one. The seahorses serve as the symbol of the erratic moods of the sea. Sculpted under Neptune are the seashells, salamanders, and horses. The water of the fountain starts from the feet of Neptune, then it goes over the rock in a downward motion, and ends in a huge water basin.
On the left portion of the fountain, you can see the statue of the symbol of abundance. It is holding a horn that is filled with different fruits and produce. Another notable statue is built above the sculpture. This sculpture is the image of Agrippa commanding his subordinates to build the aqueduct. The statue of the symbol of health is built on the right side of the fountain. There is also a snake that drinks on the cup that it is holding. The symbol of health is wearing a wreath of laurel as its crown. This wreath is said to symbolize Appollo who is the father of Aesculapius, the god of medicine. Above the image of health is a relief of a young girl pointing a finger to a spring and instructing a group of soldiers to fetch water from it. The fountain is surrounded by the sculptures of thirty different species of plants including oaks, artichokes, wild fig, mulleins, pear, and grapes.
Previously, there were three roads which intersect at the spot where the fountain is presently located. The name Trevi was derived from the Latin word Trevium. Trivia, who is known as the Roman goddess, is said to be the protector of the streets of Trevi. These three streets are Via De’ Crocicchi, Via Poli, and Via Delle Muratte.
The Trevi Fountain has recently gone through a renovation process. During the renovation, the entire fountain was covered by a scaffolding. Because of this, tossing a coin over the water of the fountain had become really difficult. In effect, the administration was able to collect only a few coins. The renovation project was completed in November 2015. The said project lasted for eighteen months. The total cost incurred for the renovation amounted to two million euros. It was funded by a famous Italian fashion company.
Since the Trevi Fountain is situated in the downtown area, it is surrounded by a couple of sightseeing spots. The Pantheon is just a stone throw away from the fountain. So if you want to see this monument, you can as well include a visit to the fountain on the same day. Another notable monument nearby the fountain is the gigantic Coliseum. It is quite far from the fountain as compared to the Pantheon but it is still located within a walking distance. From the fountain, you can also walk to other popular spots including Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps, Piazza Barberini, and Fontana del Tritone.
The Trevi Fountain is one of the sightseeing spots in the city that you should not miss when you are in Rome especially if you want to visit the city at least once again in your entire life. According to rumor, once you throw a coin over your shoulder into the fountain, you will surely have the chance to visit Rome again. Just imagine, if every person visiting Rome tosses a coin into the Trevi fountain, its basin must be filled with more coins than with water. But this will never happen since the administration collects and removes the coins from the fountain each and every week. The collected coins are used for good cause and are being donated to the Caritas organization. So if you toss a coin, it is as good as saying that you have also helped the poor families even in your own little way.
The Trevi Fountain is so beautiful and romantic that it was featured in several films. This stunning fountain was used as a backdrop and a setting for many renowned local and international movies. It caught the attention of many people from around the world when it was featured in the film La Dolce Vita. Other films where you can see the fountain are the Roman Holiday, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, Angels and Demons, Three Coins in the Fountain, and When in Rome.
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