An Ancient Aqueduct Source

The origins of the Trevi Fountain trace back to ancient Rome’s Aqua Virgo aqueduct, commissioned by Agrippa during Augustus’ reign. The fountain marks the endpoint of this aqueduct, which supplied water to ancient Rome for centuries, showcasing the city’s advanced engineering prowess.

A Multi-talented Architectural Ensemble

The fountain is a collaborative work of several prominent artists and architects. Initially designed by Nicola Salvi in the 18th century, it boasts intricate sculptures depicting sea gods, horses, and allegorical figures symbolizing abundance and fertility. Pietro Bracci sculpted the central figure of Oceanus, the majestic sea god.

Throwing Coins for Luck

One of the most enduring traditions associated with the Trevi Fountain is the act of tossing a coin over your left shoulder into the water. Legend has it that tossing one coin ensures a return to Rome, while throwing two coins can lead to a new romance. Around €3,000 is thrown into the fountain daily, contributing to charity through Rome’s social services.

Scene of Cinematic History

The Trevi Fountain has served as a backdrop for numerous films, most famously in Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita.” The iconic scene featuring Anita Ekberg wading into the fountain’s waters has cemented its status as a cinematic symbol of romance and beauty.

A Period of Neglect and Restoration

Over the years, the fountain endured wear and tear, leading to its decline. In 2015, luxury fashion brand Fendi sponsored a substantial restoration effort, investing around €2.2 million to preserve the fountain’s Baroque magnificence. This extensive restoration returned the fountain to its former glory, unveiling its intricate details and vibrant colors.

Mysterious Origins of the Name

The fountain derives its name, Trevi, from the “tre vie” or “three roads” that converged at the site. This intersection served as a crucial meeting point in ancient Rome. The fountain itself sits at the junction of three streets: Via dei Crociferi, Via Poli, and Via delle Muratte.

The Secret Water Supply

Hidden beneath the fountain’s grandeur lies a sophisticated water system. The Aqua Virgo aqueduct, still operational, supplies water to the fountain. The water travels approximately 13 miles from a spring near Salone to quench the Trevi Fountain’s thirst.

The Architect’s Dramatic Ending

Nicola Salvi, the fountain’s original architect, never witnessed the completion of his masterpiece. It took over thirty years to complete the fountain after his design, and Salvi died before the intricate sculptures were finished. Giuseppe Pannini took over the project and completed it according to Salvi’s plans.

Superstitious Rituals and Regular Maintenance

Aside from coin tossing, visitors often participate in another tradition—touching the fountain’s waters for good luck. To maintain the fountain’s integrity, touching the sculptures or wading into the water is prohibited. The fountain undergoes regular cleaning and maintenance to preserve its splendor for future generations.

The Trevi Fountain stands not just as an artistic marvel but also as a testament to Rome’s rich history, cultural traditions, and enduring allure. Beyond its architectural brilliance and cinematic fame, it remains a symbol of hope, romance, and the eternal spirit of the Eternal City.