The Historical past of Rome’s Trevi Fountain

You is likely to be conversant in the Trevi Fountain from its look within the iconic 1960 movie “La Dolce Vita.” However do you know the Trevi Fountain’s historical past goes far past the silver display and dates again to the Roman Empire?

Learn on to study concerning the Trevi Fountain’s historical past and why it’s one of the crucial beloved points of interest in Rome. 

In This Article

What Is the Trevi Fountain?

The Trevi Fountain is the biggest and most well-known of Rome’s many fountains. Constructed within the dramatic, sweeping Baroque type of the 18th century, it measures 49 meters broad and 26 meters excessive — that’s roughly 160 toes broad and 85 toes excessive. 

Such an infinite fountain wants huge portions of water. Greater than 2,824,800 cubic toes of recycled water flows by means of it each single day.

The fountain’s reasonably literal title comes from the Latin phrase “trivium,” which implies “intersection of three streets.” Its Italian title, “Fontana di Trevi” interprets actually to “Three Avenue Fountain.”

The place Is the Trevi Fountain?

True to its title, the Trevi Fountain is situated on the intersection of three roads:

  1. De Crocicchi Avenue
  2. Poli Avenue
  3. Delle Muratte Avenue

The fountain leans towards the rear façade of the Palazzo Poli, which may make it troublesome to search out in case you’re roaming the town by yourself.

After you go to the fountain, ensure to cease by these close by spots earlier than you go:

  • Galleria Sciarra: Tucked away inside a stone’s throw of the fountain, this hidden gem will transport you out of the Baroque period and into the nineteenth century. All 4 partitions of this glass-ceilinged courtyard are lined with Giuseppe Cellini’s artwork nouveau illustrations celebrating the glorification of girls.
  • The Alchemist’s Door: Considered one of 5 remaining gates to the previous villa of the Marquis Palombara, the Alchemist’s Door (Porta Alchemica, in Italian) is a mysterious portal from the nineteenth century.

The Historical past of the Trevi Fountain

As the biggest fountain in Rome, you’d count on the Trevi Fountain’s historical past to be simply as expansive. And also you’d be proper. It stretches all the way in which to historic days, on the peak of the Roman Empire’s energy.

Historical Rome

You may hint the Trevi Fountain’s historical past all the way in which again to round 19 B.C. when it was a easy aqueduct. Constructed through the reign of Emperor Augustus, it’s the solely Roman aqueduct that’s nonetheless functioning right this moment. 

In keeping with the legend, Roman common Marcus Agrippa and his troopers got here throughout a younger virgin someday who miraculously made a spring of pure water seem for them to drink. To commemorate the occasion, Agrippa constructed the Aqueduct of the Virgin, which distributed water all through the town.

seventeenth Century

By the 1600s, one other fountain stood in the identical place. Nevertheless, Pope City VIII ordered its demolition and alternative as a result of he believed it to be insufficiently dramatic. 

The pope commissioned Gian Lorenzo Bernini to attract up some doable renovations, however earlier than the mission may come to fruition, Pope City VIII died and the mission was deserted.

Though Bernini’s authentic design was by no means realized, his sketches closely influenced the longer term fountain’s building within the subsequent century. 

18th Century

Within the 1700s, constructing and artwork competitions have been in style methods for artists to earn commissions. In 1732, Pope Clement XII, intending to interchange the unique fountain, organized one such contest between Nicola Salvi and Alessandro Galilei. Though Salvi initially misplaced to Galilei, he ended up receiving the fee anyway as a result of Romans’ objection to a Florentine victory.

Salvi used Bernini’s sketches from the final tried renovation as inspiration for his design. 

Giuseppe Pannini was employed to help as an architect. Moreover, 4 different sculptors labored with Salvi on the mission:

  1. Pietro Bracci, who created the central determine of Oceanus
  2. Filippo della Valle
  3. Andrea Bergondi
  4. Giovanni Grossi

Building started within the 1730s and stretched on for one more 30 years. Salvi died in 1751, so he was unable to see the mission by means of to completion, however Pannini completed the fountain in 1762 with minor alterations to the unique design.

The ultimate design includes a central sculpture of the Titan god Oceanus on a chariot pulled by two Triton-led winged horses. One horse is calm whereas the opposite reels towards his reins, representing the twin nature of the ocean. Oceanus can also be flanked on both aspect by two niches containing the allegorical figures of:

  • Left: Abundance, who carries a basket crammed with fruit and stands subsequent to an overflowing urn.
  • Proper: Salubrità (Well being), who holds a spear in a single hand and a cup in one other. A snake winds up her proper aspect to drink out of the cup. 

Draw your eyes above these figures and also you’ll see two bas-relief panels depicting the legend of the Virgin. On the left aspect are Agrippa and his males whereas the appropriate panel options the Virgin, who factors to the miraculous spring of pure water.

Maintain trying up — atop the palazzo’s columns are 4 extra allegorical statues depicting:

  • Abundance of fruit
  • Wealth of autumn
  • Amenity of the gardens
  • Fertility of the fields

Between all these figures is an enormous stone coat of arms flanked by two cherubs. However that’s not all you’ll see. The sculptors’ consideration to element really astounds, with greater than 30 species of crops and an unlimited variety of animal figures showing all through the fountain.

Present Day

Current Day

The fountain has appeared in and impressed varied movies all through the final century, together with:

  • 1953: “Roman Vacation”
  • 1954: “Three Cash within the Fountain”
  • 1960: “La Dolce Vita”
  • 1998: “Sabrina Goes to Rome”
  • 2003: “The Lizzie McGuire Film”

In 2013, Italian trend home Fendi sponsored a 2.2 million euro renovation mission to revive the growing old fountain to its former glory. The mission, which lasted 20 months, was the biggest restoration ever achieved on the fountain.

Why Do Individuals Toss Cash Into the Trevi Fountain?

Again in historic Rome, folks typically threw small presents into fountains and wells as an providing to the gods. These days, although, folks throw cash into the Trevi Fountain to ensure a protected return to the Everlasting Metropolis.

However it’s important to observe a number of particular steps to do it proper. Right here’s how one can take part on this time-honored custom:

  1. Maintain your coin in your proper hand.
  2. Flip your again to the fountain.
  3. Toss the coin over your left shoulder and into the water.

In keeping with legend, in case you throw two cash, you’ll discover love. In case you toss three, your future marriage is assured. 

You would possibly marvel what occurs to all these cash. Since 2007, the town has donated all of the income from the fountain — practically 1.5 million euros per yr — to charity. 

See the Trevi Fountain in Individual on a Windstar Cruise

See the Trevi Fountain in Person on a Windstar Cruise

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Browse our Italian cruise choices on our web site to study extra, and be happy to contact us with any questions.

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