The Trevi Fountain | Designer Travel

I first saw the Trevi Fountain many years ago, have seen it many times since, and every time I find something new to appreciate in its busy and highly decorated facade.

However when I first looked for it, despite its immense size, I almost missed it! I don’t know what I expected to see – I suppose I was looking for a circular water filled area with some sort of statue in the middle, and I recall following the signs to the fountain, arriving at the site, and finding myself in a small ‘square’ with buildings and an ice cream shop! To my right was what seemed at first glance to be a huge and very ornate building, and then I noticed the water in front of it, and realised this was the fountain, blending into the the Palazzo Poli behind it.

At over 85 feet high, and over 160 feet wide this is an awesome, beautiful Baroque fountain, and is the biggest by far of all of Rome’s 2,000 fountains. The Trevi was apparently named from the word Trivium, meaning a crossing of three streets, which is how the fountain is sited. Designed by Nicola Salvi in 1732 and completed by Pietro Bracci in 1762, the Trevi is built from Travertine Stone. It depicts, in prime position, not Neptune, as many believe, but the god Ocean, who represents all things water, and it’s power. There are too many images that surround him for me to describe here, they are so detailed and ornate, suffice to say that it is well worth a visit.

I am sure you will have seen this fountain, if not ‘in the flesh’ then certainly on film. Famously appearing in La Dole Vita and many other movies, it is the old film ‘Three Coins in the Fountain’ which best depicts the romance of the place. The legend is that if you stand with your back to the fountain and toss a coin over your shoulder into the water, you will return to Rome again.

There are some 3,000 euros worth of coins thrown into the fountain in a day! So if the legend is true that’s a lot of people due a return trip! No wonder Rome is so popular! But on a serious note it is good to know that a charity called Chariots, collects this money each day to care for the needy. They operate key food and social programmes and recently opened a low cost supermarket. So at least the money goes to a good and worthy cause…brings a whole new meaning to the phrase…’spending money like water’!

One final tip…if it is possible, plan to get to the fountain early you will get the opportunity to see this amazing Trevi Fountain, and appreciate it’s beauty, in peace and without the hoards of tourists all jockeying for position to take the best photo, and throw their coins. But whenever you can go, do go…it’s quite lovely!

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