The romantic side of every traveler involves a to-do list to visit a fountain, throw coins, make a wish, and fervently hope that the wish will come true.
The most famous fountain in the world is the Fontana di Trevi or the Trevi Fountain in the Trevi district in Rome, Italy. This 18th-century baroque fountain on the Piazza di Trevi square was initially designed by Bernini for Pope Clemens XII but it took 50 years later to build it after a redesign by architect Nicola Salvi. The construction is said to have lasted from 1732 to 1762.
The fountain is located at the last point of the aqueduct which is the meeting point of three roads. This trio of streets, tre vie in Roman gave the Trevi fountain its name that is the Three Street Fountain. The mighty height is 85 feet high and 65 feet across making the Trevi fountain and its piazza take up almost an entire city block.
A ‘wow!’ and ‘oh!’ or ‘such a fascinating fountain!’ are the usual utterances of visitors to this breathtaking travertine fountain with its facade and reef constructed using travertine stone. It has layered calcium carbonate formed by hot springs and quarried near Tivoli, 22 miles east of Rome. The statues are said to be made of Carrara Marble.
Experience a magical moment at the amazing Trevi Fountain with the following facts:
It is free to visit 24/7.
The trevi fountain is open day and night. Many visitors express that the best time to see the beauty of this fountain is in the evening between 8 and 11.
Casual attire like jeans and tees are alright.
Close your eyes and make a wish
To make the wish come true, local folklore tells of the following steps: turn back from the fountain, close eyes, use the right hand to toss a coin over the left shoulder, and make a wish. Tossing one coin means your return to the eternal city of Rome is assured. A second coin promises you’ll find love, and the third coin tossed is supposed to guarantee marriage.
Cleaning of the fountain
This happens every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday between 8 and 9 in the morning. The cleaners extract the coins in the fountain using a rake and a wet-vac. They turn off the water, clean up any debris, push the coins into a line, and suction them out of the fountain.
Proceeds of the coins
The coins collected which usually amount to $1.7 million every year are donated to Roman charities to help the poor and the homeless.
Stealing coins from the Trevi is a crime
To get coins from the fountain is punishable. Open sweeping of coins during the night was caught on a TV show using a hidden camera. The most famous raider was known by his nickname, d’Artagnan. He stole the coins from the fountain for 34 years before he was caught in the summer of 2002.
Fine of €500
Nobody is allowed to set foot in the Trevi Fountain. There is a €500 fine for entering the structure.
The theme of the Trevi Fountain is to tame the waters, a clear reference to the aqueducts which provide the fountain with water that brings both health and abundance. Over the course of one day, this fountain produces 2,823,800 cubic feet of water. All of it is recycled.
The Trevi Fountain was built at the back of the Palazzo Poli building. It features the statue of Neptune, the god of the sea, on a shell-shaped chariot pulled by two horses. Each is being guided by a Triton. One of the horses is calm while the other is wild symbolizing the changing tides of the sea. The statues in the niches were made by Filippo della Valle. The lady statue on the left symbolizes abundance while on the statue on the right symbolizes health.
Pope Clemens XII, in 1730 held a contest to design a new fountain. Many important architects participated, and Nicola Salvi won the right to design. Salvi had proposed the lowest cost for building the fountain. This was said to be the reason why Pope Clement chose Salvi for the project. In that year, the Lotto was reintroduced in Rome and the entire money from the lotto game was used to finance the fountain. It is recorded that the lucky numbers were 56, 6, 11, 18, and 54. The fountain was built from travertine stone which literally means from the Tiber.
This travertine stone is made of calcium carbonate which was formed from the hot spring waters of Tivoli. The Trevi fountain construction history is littered with tragedies as many workers got injured like the story of a stonecutter who died when he was hit by a huge travertine block.
There came a point in 2012 when the Romans did not treat the Trevi fountain well. Rats pest the place, pigeon droppings were everywhere, sticky chewing gum were scattered, and maltreatment by several locals and tourists disfigured the fountain and damaged its water drainage system. The movie La Dolce Vita sadly inspired several people to try and recreate the scene inside the fountain which caused a lot of damage to the monument. The damage from the groundwater and subsidence was so great that the fountain started to separate from the Palazzo Conti.
The iconic fashion house Fendi donated 2.2. million euros for a 17-month restoration project. Remarkably, Fendi creatively caused the making of a temporary bridge that gave the public a close view of the Baroque fountain up close as well. A small temporary fountain was installed in which the public could still toss coins while the restoration project was on. The project started in 2014 and ended in November 2015 after which the public was able to see the water gushing out of the Trevi again.
It is a marvelous experience to see the completely remodeled fountain. Fendi gave it a new look with an advanced pigeon deterrent system and refurbished pumps. A grand high-tech lighting system with 100 LED lights and fantastic night light installations. The restored Trevi fountain through the 2.2 million Fendi donated made the fountain beautiful and alive again.
The Trevi Fountain is one of Italy’s splendors. The sound of water gushing out of multiple sources, the sight of the enchanting lights, and the feel of the overall magical experience with ‘wish granted’ happiness will be worth the visit.