One of Rome's most-loved monuments, the Trevi Fountain is the largest and most famous Baroque fountain in the city. Thousands gather daily to toss coins into the emerald waters to secure good luck and, perhaps, new love. Located in the Quirinale district, one of the seven hills of Rome, its history stretches back to the 4th century when it was one of over 1,000 fountains in the city.
The Trevi Fountain has recently been restored to its former glory with a much-needed renovation provided by the house of Fendi. Personally, we like to visit sites like this in the company of an expert guide (we learn so much more!), so we'll tell your about our fave Rome fountain tours. We also share eight curiosities about Trevi that you should definitely know before you toss in your lucky coin.
There's an awful lot to see in Rome and on this tour you manage to see a lot of it in one day.
First of all, there's the Trevi Fountain, but you also visit (and learn about) the Spanish Steps at the Piazza di Spagna, the Pantheon, the column of Marcus Aurelius in Piazza Colonna, Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers, and many streets and byways along the way.
For an even more fun-filled day, opt for the upgrade that also takes you to the Colosseum and through ancient Rome.
If Paris can be called The City of Light, then Rome should be called The City of Water because of its fountains.
While back in Roman times there were hundreds more fountains, there are still a lot of fountains today. Sure, you can wander around, carrying a map, trying to find the best fountains on your own. But if you're like us you want a better, more enjoyable, and more personal experience.
That's why we like this fountain tour of the Eternal City. This small-group tour (to guarantee more personal attention) takes you directly to some of the most charming fountains in the city, under the direction of an expert guide.
This behind-the-scenes tour (or is it "under-the-scenes"?) leads you down ancient passageways to the underground complex beneath Trevi Fountain.
You get a chance to view imperial Roman artefacts and remains and learn a bit about what made the empire tick.
Of course, you also visit the Trevi Fountain as well as Piazza di Spagna and the famous Spanish Steps, learning fascinating nuggets of Roman history along the way.
Trevi Fountain is one of the oldest water sources in Rome.
The fountain dates back to 19 BCE, ancient Rome, and the construction of the Aqua Virgo Aqueduct. The clear water was the source used in Roman baths and fountains throughout the city. Trevi Fountain was built at the junction of three streets — tre vie — giving the fountain its name, the Three Street Fountain.
Competitions were very popular during the Baroque era, and in 1730 Pope Clement XII held a contest to find an architect to make the fountain more spectacular. A Florentine, Alessandro Galilei won but Romans were outraged. The authorities reconsidered and appointed a Roman, Nicola Salvi, as the chief architect.
Work began in 1732, however, Salvi would never see the fountain completed. He died eleven years before it was unveiled in 1762.
For 17 months the fountain stopped. The water was drained and the entire structure was covered by scaffolding while it underwent much-needed repairs. Fendi, the Italian luxury fashion house, paid for the €2.2 million project, which included a new sophisticated light system.
It's vital that you toss the coin using your right hand over your left shoulder. Legend is that a coin thrown into the fountain will guarantee a return to the Eternal City. Want a different wish? A second coin will help find new love and a third coin is a wish for wedding bells! (Maybe that's why weddings are so expensive.)
Not a big surprise, it's a crime to steal coins or fish coins out of the fountain. In the past, gangs of greedy coin thieves stole some of €3,000 tossed daily into the fountain. Thanks to new technology and hidden cameras, coin thieves have met their match. Every everning, the coins are collected and donated to Caritas, a Catholic charity.
Good news, it's recycled. The fountain is massive at 85 feet tall by 65 feet wide high and pumps out an astounding 2,800,800 cubic feet of water every day.
Built from travertine marble ("from the Tiber" in Latin) sourced from the city of Tivoli, just east of Rome. Travertine has been used in many buildings around the world, including the Sacré-Coeur Basilica in Paris.
Three Coins in the Fountain — the 1954 movie about three American secretaries working in Rome who dream of finding romance. The movie's title song, sung by Frank Sinatra, went on to win the Oscar for Best Song.
Who can forget the scene in La Dolce Vita when voluptuous Anita Eckberg recklessly dances in the fountain? Roman Holiday, the 1953 romantic comedy shot in Rome (unusual for the time), won Audrey Hepburn the Best Actress award, Dalton Trumbo the Academy award for Writing (although, because he was blacklisted, he couldn't be named!), and Best Costume for Edith Head at the 1954 ceremony.