Visiting the Trevi Fountain: Rome, Italy
The Trevi Fountain, one of the most beautiful and famous fountains in all of Italy, is among Rome’s top tourist sites. Completed in 1762, after thirty years of construction, this stunning example of baroque architecture sits prominently in the Piazza di Trevi. There are numerous fountains in Rome, but none as large and opulent as the Trevi Fountain. Measuring 85 feet high, and 66 feet wide, the Trevi Fountain pours over twenty million gallons of water daily into its pool.
The first time we went to the Trevi Fountain we knew we were getting close because we could hear the running water before we could see it. When we finally entered the Piazza di Trevi, I believe our first reaction was wow, it’s absolutely huge and very bright and white.
The façade of the fountain is made entirely of beautiful white Travertine and came from the nearby town of Tivoli, which is located about twenty miles to the east of Rome. The statues are made primarily of Carrara Marble.
The most common explanation for the origin of the word Trevi is that it’s from the Latin word Trivium, which indicates the crossing of three streets. The Piazza di Trevi does join three streets which are the Via de’ Crocicchi, Via delle Muratte, and the Via Poli so this theory does make sense.
When looking at the Trevi Fountain the center is dominated by the statue of Oceanus, the god of all water. His shell-shaped chariot is being pulled by two sea horses that are being guided by two Tritons. This statue is the work of Pietro Bracci.
The sixteen-foot high muscular body of Oceanus is standing under what is referred to as the triumphal arch. To the left of Oceanus is the statue of Abundance while to his right stands the statue of Health. The water supplying the Trevi Fountain is from the Virgo Aqueduct system, which channels water over twenty kilometers from the Salone Springs. The Virgo Aqueduct system dates back to 19 BC and was used to supply water to the thermal baths of the Campus Martius located near the Pantheon.
The popular legend surrounding the Trevi Fountain is that if one tosses a coin into the fountain then you are assured a return visit to Rome. This popular belief results in over three thousand euro being tossed into the waters of the fountain every day. The money is used to support a local supermarket for the needy of Rome. With that much money being tossed into the fountain, there are always those looking to steal the coins so the local police keep an eye on the fountain to prevent thieves.
Many visitors to the Trevi Fountain often leave wondering what the building or backdrop to the fountain is? Well it’s called the Palazzo Poli, otherwise known as the Poli Palace.
The Palazzo Poli is currently the home to the National Institute for Graphics, and houses a world renowned collection of copper engraving plates that date back to the 16th century.
If you are traveling to Rome then you will certainly want to include a visit to the Trevi Fountain. A visit to the fountain will only take as much time as you choose to spend there, and you can visit at any time of the day as the fountain stands in a public square.
The Piazza di Trevi can be a crowded place especially during peak travel months so be prepared and plan your visit for a non-peak time of the day. A visit at night while the fountain is all lit up can include a nice stroll through the historic district of Rome with the added benefit of fewer tourists at the fountain. Enjoy your visit to Rome and the Trevi Fountain.
Ciao for now.
Do you believe in the popular legend that says if you throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain it guarantees your return to Rome someday?
© 2012 Bill De Giulio