Nestled in the heart of Rome are many ancient aqueducts and fountains, but few are as world-famous as the Trevi Fountain – which draws millions of visitors every year. Thanks to its starring role in films such as The Roman Holiday, La Dolce Vita, Angels and Demons, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, and more the Trevi Fountain is not only one of the most iconic landmarks in Rome but also one of the most famous fountains in the world.
Have you ever wondered what happens to the coins thrown in Rome's Trevi Fountain? How much money accumulates throughout the year? And how old is the Trevi Fountain? Together we will explore the remarkable history of the Trevi Fountain, from its construction which began in 1732 all the way to its legacy as Rome’s most famous fountain.
Are you planning a trip to Rome? Check out our Introduction to Rome Tour to explore iconic landmarks such as the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, and Pantheon with a local historian.
Towering nearly 30 feet above its visitors, ‘La Fontana di Trevi’ was constructed against the Palazzo Poli building, where three roads (tre via in Italian) used to converge. It is the city's largest fountain – a true masterpiece of Baroque art and architecture.
The location of the Trevi Fountain is significant, as it is surrounded by several important landmarks, such as the Quirinal Palace and the Pantheon. It is also located near several popular shopping and dining destinations, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
The Trevi Fountain was commissioned by Pope Clement XII in 1730 to replace a previous fountain that had stood in the same location since the 15th century. The design for the new fountain was the result of a competition that was won by Nicola Salvi, who was then a relatively unknown architect.
Construction on the fountain began in 1732, but it was not without its challenges. Salvi died in 1751, leaving the project unfinished, and it was completed by Giuseppe Pannini in 1762. In the meantime, the fountain's construction had been beset by financial and logistical difficulties, and there were even rumors that the fountain was cursed.
The Trevi Fountain was not only created to be a work of art but also a political statement. It was commissioned by Pope Clement XII, who wanted to showcase the power and influence of the Catholic Church in Rome.
The coins that are thrown into the fountain are collected by the city of Rome and used to fund various social welfare programs. In recent years, the amount of money collected from the fountain has reached millions of euros annually, making it an important source of funding for the city’s charitable organizations.
It’s impossible to know exactly how much money is thrown each day, but in recent years, the amount of money collected from the fountain has reached millions of euros annually, making it an important source of funding for the city’s charitable organizations. Each night, coins that are thrown into the fountain are collected by the city of Rome and used to fund various social welfare programs.
The tradition of tossing coins into the ”Fontana di Trevi”’ dates back to the mid-20th century and has become one of Rome's most popular tourist rituals. According to the legend, throwing a coin into the fountain with your right hand over your left shoulder will ensure your return to Rome.
There are different variations of the legend, but the basic idea is that throwing a coin into the fountain will bring good luck and ensure that you return to Rome one day. Some travelers also believe that throwing three coins will ensure a successful love life, while others believe that it will bring wealth and prosperity.
The tradition of tossing coins into the Trevi Fountain gained even more popularity after it was featured in the 1954 film "Three Coins in the Fountain." Since then, millions of tourists have visited the fountain and thrown coins into its waters, making it one of the most famous and beloved landmarks in Rome.
The Trevi Fountain has undergone several restorations over the centuries, but the most recent one was completed in 2015, after almost two years of work. The restoration was a complex and delicate process that involved the use of modern technologies, such as lasers and 3D scanners, to clean, repair and reinforce the fountain. The goal of the restoration was to preserve the beauty and integrity of the fountain for future generations.
While the Trevi Fountain is open 24/7, the best time to visit is early in the morning or late at night to avoid crowds. However, if you want to see the fountain at its most lively, visit during one of the many festivals that take place throughout the year, such as the Festa della Repubblica in June and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in December. At these times, the fountain is often decorated with lights and other festive decorations, making it an even more magical sight to behold.
The sculptures on the Trevi Fountain are rich in symbolism and represent various themes from mythology and history. At the center of the fountain stands the god of the sea, Neptune, who is riding on a chariot pulled by two sea horses, one calm and one wild. These sea horses represent the contrasting moods of the sea, and they are believed to be the work of the sculptor Filippo della Valle.
On either side of Neptune are two Tritons, mythological sea creatures that are half-man and half-fish. They are blowing into large shells, which symbolize the power of the sea. The statue on the left represents the Triumph of Oceanus, the god of all water, while the one on the right represents the Abundance of Salubrity, the goddess of health and prosperity.
Above the central niche is a relief depicting Agrippa, the Roman general who built the original aqueduct that supplied water to the Trevi Fountain. The relief also shows a virgin pointing to the source of the water, representing the spring that feeds the fountain.
The four allegorical figures in the niches on either side of the central niche represent different aspects of the seasons. On the left, there is Abundance holding a cornucopia, and Salubrity holding a cup. On the right, there is Fertility with a basket of flowers and Autumn scattering coins.
The sculptures on the Trevi Fountain are not just decorative elements but are also carefully chosen to reflect the themes of abundance, health, and prosperity, which are all closely associated with water in Roman mythology. The beauty and symbolism of the sculptures continue to draw visitors from all over the world to the fountain to this day.
1. The Fountain of Four Rivers in Piazza Navona is another famous fountain in Rome. It was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, one of the most famous sculptors of the Baroque period, and was completed in 1651. The fountain features four large statues that symbolize the four major rivers of the world: the Nile, the Ganges, the Danube, and the Rio de la Plata.
2. The Fountain of the Naiads in Piazza della Repubblica is a stunning fountain that features four bronze statues of Naiads, or water nymphs, who are said to be the protectors of springs, fountains, and other bodies of water. The fountain was designed by Mario Rutelli and was completed in 1901.
3. The Fountain of the Tritons in Piazza Barberini is another beautiful fountain in Rome that is worth a visit. It was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini's father, Pietro Bernini, and features two large Tritons, or sea gods, who are holding up a conch shell. The fountain was completed in 1643 and is considered one of the finest examples of Baroque sculpture in Rome.
In conclusion, the Trevi Fountain’s location, history, and beauty make it a must-visit destination for tourists and locals alike. The tradition of tossing coins into the fountain has made it even more popular, and the millions of euros collected each year are used to fund various social welfare programs.
The Trevi Fountain is not the only famous fountain in Rome, but it is certainly one of the most beloved and iconic. Its rich history and enduring legacy make it a true masterpiece of Baroque art and architecture.
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