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YOUR GUIDE – ALL THE FACTS, SECRETS, DO’S & DONT’S
Have you visited Rome’s famous Trevi Fountain, one of the most iconic monuments of Italy? It is an absolutely stunning, must-see historical site of the Eternal City. I will share all the details, facts and secrets here in this guide to La Fontana di Trevi.
La Fontana di Trevi is undoubtedly the most famous fountain in the world. I’ve been lucky to visit the Trevi Fountain a couple of times on my travels to Italy and marvelled at its beauty and been mesmerised by its fascinating history, the opulence and the exquisite art.
I was amazed to learn that there are more than 2000 fountains in Rome in total! This is more than any where else in the world. But the Trevi Fountain is the biggest, and the most spectacular fountain in Rome. It receives millions of visitors each year. Not only is it an important historical part of the city, it is also a national treasure, an artistic masterpiece and a romantic symbol.
Large water features such as this one have always attracted people because water is life. But it’s also relaxing and calming to watch and listen to the pure sound of the trickling water. Here, the fountain also provides a cooling effect in the hot Roman Summer.
In a city which is quite an expensive tourist destination, this is one of the free attractions and so is, of course, on everyone’s must-see list of places to visit here.
It is easily accessible in the heart of Rome, walking distance from other tourist sites. Plenty of nearby shops and restaurants make it a perfect place to stop and absorb the atmosphere of the city.
Of course, the water here is all recycled, so no water is wasted.
History of Trevi Fountain
It was originally the location of an ancient water source dating back to 19BC.
The original fountain was built at the terminus of 2 historic aquaducts, Aqua Virgo and Acqua Vergine, that provided water to ancient Rome.
In the 18th century, Pope Clemens XII commissioned the building of the current fountain. Two subsequent Popes aided in its completion and inauguration. Their names reside at the top with the papal coat of arms.
The location is the site where 3 roads meet, tre vie, hence the name Trevi.
This fountain took 30 years to build and was completed in 1762. It is intricately carved from travertine stone sourced from nearby Tivoli.
It is a beautiful baroque art sculpture designed by 2 artists, which consists of a huge pool with a rockery overhang, against a backdrop of the Palazzo Poli building. An open clam shell holds the statue of the God of the Sea, Oceanus, not Neptune, who rides the chariot pulled by mythical creatures.
The gorgeous statues are made from Italian Carrara marble.
The fountain is huge, measuring 26 metres high and almost 50 metres wide. It amazes me that the Piazza di Trevi itself is quite small for a fountain that big, because the fountain takes up most of the piazza.
Tossing A Coin In The Fountain
It’s an old tradition to toss a coin in the Trevi fountain. Legend has it that one coin is to wish your return to Rome one day, two coins for you to find love, and three coins to marry.
If you want to do this properly, follow this simple technique. Turn your back to the fountain and use your right arm to toss a coin over your left shoulder.
If you’re wondering what happens to all the coins, they are gathered daily and donated to an Italian charity which helps the city’s poor and homeless. This amounts to a few thousand euros per day!
Fendi To The Rescue
Pieces of the fountain had started to crumble. It was in desperate need of rescuing from damage due to harsh weathering and pollution. So, the mega fashion label Fendi, whose home is in Rome, stepped in and funded renovations to the fountain. The refurbishment was said to have cost 2 million euros, which was completed in November 2015.
It is now magnificently reappointed, cleaned and beautifully lit up at night with more than 100 LED lights that were added.
Fendi later held a fashion event on top of the fountain’s water. What? How?
A plexiglass floor was placed over the water which turned it into a haute couture runway! This spectacular event, held in July 2016, celebrated 90 years of the label.
Other luxury labels have also funded repairs of some of Rome’s historic monuments. For example, the Spanish Steps were restored at Bulgari’s expense.
Snazzy Tips For Visiting Trevi Fountain
- Crowds are ridiculous, so be sure to go early morning or late in the evening.
- Try and see it in the day time and at night when it is illuminated.
- Bring coins to toss in the fountain.
- It is illegal to steal coins from the fountain, so don’t try it!
- Do not drink the water from the fountain, as it is not suitable for drinking.
- Do not go in the fountain itself. Fines may be handed out to those that try to re-enact the old movie scene of La Dolce Vita. A dip in the water may cost you a cool 500 euros.
- A new ban is in place to stop people from sitting on the edge of the water.
- No tripods.
- Do not allow food and rubbish to fall in the fountain.
- And lastly, always be considerate of others by not lingering too long in front of the fountain, eating gelato or trying to get the perfect insta photo.
NOTE: It is monitored by security cameras and Vigili Urbani in Pensione, who are retired volunteer cops, that patrol the monuments of Rome.
So, don’t visit Rome without including the Fountain of Trevi in your itinerary. It is a definite must-see attraction.
You may like to check out 20 Most Instagrammable Places in Rome, by Merryl’s Travel & Tricks.