The Trevi Fountain

If you're planning a trip to Rome, you'll want to visit the famous Trevi Fountain, one of the most popular tourist spots in the city. Designed by artist and sculptor Nicola Salvi, construction of this elaborate fountain began in 1732. Several additional artists contributed to its construction, including the celebrated sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini.

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The Trevi Fountain

The statue of King Neptunus Rex, ruler of the seas, dominates the fountain. Neptune is positioned behind a chariot led by a pair of winged steeds. In front of them stand a pair of tritons to guide the chariot, and behind Neptune are two gods, Abundance and Salubrity. Although the project began in 1732, final construction was not completed until thirty years later. In fact, Nicola Salvi did not live to see the final results of his work.

Three Coins In The Fountain

Featured in various movies, the Trevi Fountain became a major tourist attraction after the release of the popular Hollywood movie “Three Coins in the Fountain” in 1954. The movie's plot centers on three young American women looking for love while working in Italy. Two of the women toss a coin in the fountain, and each finds the man of her dreams. Since then, the many tourists from all over the world who flock to Rome consider the Trevi Fountain a must-see attraction.

Today, the tradition of coin tossing is as popular as ever. Every night, the fountain is briefly shut down in order to collect the massive collection of coins in the water. The majority of money collected is then distributed to various local charities. Each year the fountain brings in over 125,000 euros.

There are many superstitions regarding coin tossing at the Trevi Fountain. Some people believe that the coins should only be tossed using the right hand while throwing over your left shoulder. Other tourists choose to throw three separate coins. The first coin tossed is to guarantee a return to Rome, the second is thrown by those searching for true love, and the third is tossed in hopes of marriage.

The fountain's name “tre vie” is believed to be derived from the three different roads that intersect near the plaza square. The Fountain is conveniently situated at the foot of the Aqua Virgo, an aqueduct built in 19 B.C. and still use today. The original aqueduct was over thirteen miles in length. In 1998, the fountain received a much needed refurbishing, with pumps and oxidizers installed to help better maintain it.

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The Trevi Fountain at dusk

Although the Fountain is a delight to visit at any time of day, many people believe it looks its best at night. The illumination of the statues and flowing water creates a stunning visual effect. In addition, the plaza is generally much less crowded at night. You can schedule a guided tour of the fountain during day or evening hours.

For more photos of this popular attraction, visit our Trevi Fountain Pictures page.