A genuine pearl among hundreds of different fountains in Rome is considered to be the Trevi Fountain (Italian: Fontana di Trevi). Majestic and spectacular sightseeing is more like a scene from an ancient play, made in stone, rather then a clean water source. Perfect location and incredible beauty of the fountain attract to it thousands of visitors of the Italian capital.
Fountain Trevi was constructed in Rome in 18 century, but its background is so captivating that we cannot help mention it. Emperor Octavian Augustus and his associate Mark Vipsanii Agrippa in the 20-es B.C. started an extensive reorganization in Rome. Among the numerous reforms Mark Agrippa also suggested to provide the city with clean drinking water.
Later tribune Agrippa put a lot of efforts into purification of the city canalisation and constructing the water pipe system. A newly-constructed aqueduct got such a romantic name Aqua Virgo. Every time its waters came the way of 12 km so as to fill the cups of ancient Romans with virgin clean water.
Before the beginning of the 17th century on the Trevi Square (Italian: Piazza di Trevi) one could still quench his thirst from the plain spring flowing to the stone bowl. But the Roman Pontiff Urban the 3rd decided to adorn the centre of the city with more elaborate architecture. One of the most prominent baroque architects, Gian Lorenzo Bernini started to work on the design of the new fountain.
Berninni fulfilled the initial project of the fountain, however, death of the Urban the 3rd interrupted all the works. But in the beginning of 1700 the drafts saw the light, while Berninni’s apprentice, Carlo Fontana, got back to work on the project. Following the inherited ideas of baroque style of his teacher Fontana set them in the frame of a more classical style. The architect intensified the image of the initial project by placing a huge statue of the Neptun and his servants at the head of the fountain.
Fontana died in 1714 and the construction intermitted again. Roman Pontiff Clement 12th announced a vacancy of the head architect. And Nicola Salvi squeezed the win in the course of heated strife between the sixteen renowned architect-engineers of the 18th century. The winner was offered a double challenge. From one side he was to create something colossal and breathtaking, from the other side – he should have fit that beauty in the architectural look of the Trevi Square.
Overlooking the Trevi Square it would be hard for a modern man to perceive Poli Palace (Italian: Palazzo Poli) and the fountain as a united architectural complex. Nicola Silvi did his job extremely well not to mention that under his guidance overwhelmingly beautiful sculptures with an abundance of various forms and figures were created.
The construction of the fountain lasted 30 years: from 1732 to 1762 years. By this time the scene from the Neptun’s life appeared against the baroque palazzo of the Italian nobleman. The real incarnation of the ocean, mighty and strong, breaks out of the water shed on his wain harnessed with horsefish and water lizards. The architect succeeded greatly in conveying the movements, a powerful endeavor to reach the surface. And an absolutely stunned spectator breathlessly wait this water cavalcade to proceed its onward movement with noises and splashes.
The statue of the sea God epitomizes water that brings this vivifying cool to Rome for so many centuries. Behind Neptun’s left shoulder, in the hovel of the frontispiece of Poli Palace, the statue of the Goddess of health is located. She is accompanied by the Goddess of fertility from the right. Both stone ladies decently and with an air of dignity meet the crowds of visitors, who crave for taking a glance of the main fountain in Rome every day.
Guests of Italian capital flock to the sightseeing so as to admire breathtaking views and accomplish a compulsive ritual. They turn back on to the fountain and throw the coins over the shoulder. It is said, that by throwing coins to the feet of Goddesses one can expect their mercifulness.
More often awestruck travelers throw in the fountain more than one coin in hopes to find the one and simply come back to Italy and Rome again. By the way, tourists in Rome leave about 1500 Euro in the crystal clear water of the Trevi Fountain every day, which is a very nice revenue that amounts to more than a million Euro per year!
The name of the fountain
Concerning the name of the picturesque spring, there are several versions of its origins. The most wide-spread opinion is that Trevi Square is a place, where three large streets in Rome are gathered. However, experts in latin language think that, in fact, italian “trevi” comes from the altered latin word “trivium”, which can be translated as “junction of the three roads”. The second legend tells us a story about young lady named Trivia, who managed to give ancient builders a hint where the spring with pure drinking water was located to construct the aqueduct.
Trevi Fountain is a champion among his co-brothers in Rome. His width amounts to 20 metres, while the heights is about 26 metres in the centre! Apart from the impressive size the manmade reservoir can be proud of being located in close proximity to the ancient residence. In due time russian nobelity took fancy to Poli Palace. Princess Volkonskaya, in particular, rented the first floor of the palace in 30-es of the 19th century. In that apartments she hosted such guests as Nikolay Gogol, the Brullovs, Fedor Brunni, Michael Pogodin and some other representatives of the artistic society.
Being one of the most famous sights in Rome one can find Fountain Trevi on the postcards, photographs and even on the video. But the fountain acted its most remarkable part in the movie of Frederico Fellini “The good life” (“La Dolce Vita”). The icon of the Italian movie, Marcello Mastroianni, and drugged with all life pleasures blonde, Anita Ekberg, put on an act a really hot scene in the freezingly cold water of Fountain Trevi in January.
Furthtermore, it played a significant role among other Italian beauties in shooting Audrey Hepbern and Gregory Peck in the movie of another film director William Wailer. Not to mention that Fountain on Trevi Square also starred in the movie “Madly in love” (“Innamorato pazzo”), where an intractable macho, Adriano Celentano, untreasured Rome in all its glory to a foreign princess Ornella Muti.
From June 2014 to November 2015 the fountain was officially closed for visitors because of reconstruction procedures. And the reason for that was the decay of stone constructions, daily necking down by the water streams and crowds of tourists. Needless to say that the last reconstruction occurred about 125 years ago. It was a close call when in 2014 superb sculptures started losing some of their parts and emergency repair was organized immediately.
However, the fashion house “Fendy” took a particular interest in reconstruction of the famous fountain. According to approximate estimates 2 millions and 200 thouthand Euro were needed for the renovation of the monument of art.
How to get there
- Address: Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Roma
- Metro: Line A, station: Barberini
- Bus: № 53, 62, 63, 71, 83, 85, 160, 492 (bus stop: Tritone – Fontana Di Trevi)