Skip to Content

Why is the Trevi Fountain Famous? 7 Intriguing Insights

As you step into the iconic landmark of Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy, curiosity naturally arises about its history, significance, and the stories surrounding it. What tales lie behind its creation? What draws millions of visitors annually to toss coins into its waters? Let’s explore the mysteries and wonders of this celebrated site.

In this article, we invite you to uncover the fascinating story behind the Trevi Fountain. From its ancient origins to its transformation into a Baroque masterpiece, we’ll reveal the secrets and legends that have made it a symbol of artistic brilliance and cultural heritage. Join us as we examine its history, architecture, and traditions while offering practical tips to appreciate the magic of the Trevi Fountain fully.

1. History of the Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain is one of the most iconic landmarks in Rome, Italy. It is a Baroque masterpiece that has been attracting tourists from all over the world for centuries. The fountain is located in the Trevi district of Rome and is the largest Baroque fountain in the city.

Ancient Origins

The history of the Trevi Fountain dates back to ancient Roman times. The fountain was built at the intersection of three streets, which is where its name “Trevi” comes from. The original fountain was constructed in the 15th century, but it was not until the 18th century that the fountain was transformed into the masterpiece that we see today.

See Also Italy Landmarks

Baroque Masterpiece

In 1730, Pope Clement XII launched a competition to redesign the Trevi Fountain. Nicola Salvi, an Italian architect, submitted the winning design. Salvi’s design was inspired by the Roman triumphal arches and was meant to celebrate the power and glory of Rome. The fountain features a central figure of Oceanus, the god of the sea, riding a shell-shaped chariot pulled by sea horses.


Fontana di Trevi
Trevi fountain at night Photo by John Samuel

Over the years, the Trevi Fountain has undergone numerous restorations to maintain its beauty and structural integrity. The most recent restoration took place from 2014 to 2015 and was sponsored by Fendi, an Italian fashion house. The restoration included cleaning the fountain, repairing damaged sculptures, and replacing the fountain’s plumbing and lighting systems.

The Trevi Fountain is not only a stunning work of art but also a symbol of Rome’s rich history and culture. Its ancient origins, Baroque design, and numerous restorations make it a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Rome.

2. Architecture

The Trevi Fountain is a stunning example of Baroque architecture and is considered one of the most famous fountains in the world. The fountain was designed by Nicola Salvi and completed by Giuseppe Pannini in 1762. This masterpiece is located in the Trevi district in Rome, Italy, and is a popular tourist attraction.

Design Elements

The Trevi Fountain is a grand example of Baroque design elements. The fountain is made of travertine stone and features a large central statue of the god Neptune, surrounded by tritons and sea horses.

The fountain is also decorated with a variety of other sculptures, including figures representing Abundance and Health. The overall design of the fountain is meant to evoke the power and majesty of the sea, and the sculptures are meant to represent the various moods and emotions of the sea.

Sculptural Features

The Trevi Fountain is known for its intricate and detailed sculptural features. The central statue of Neptune is a commanding presence, standing over 17 feet tall and weighing over 16 tons. The tritons and sea horses that surround Neptune are also intricately detailed, with each figure displaying a unique pose and expression. The sculptures of Abundance and Health are also notable for their intricate details and lifelike appearance.

3. Cultural Significance

The Trevi Fountain is not just a beautiful work of art, but it also holds significant cultural value for the people of Rome and the world. This section will explore the cultural significance of the Trevi Fountain.

Trevi Fountain in Movies and Literature

The Trevi Fountain has been featured in many movies and literary works. One of the most famous movies that feature the fountain is Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita” (1960), where the fountain is a symbol of the hedonistic lifestyle of Rome’s elite. The fountain also appears in the movie “Three Coins in the Fountain” (1954), where it is said that throwing three coins into the fountain will ensure a return to Rome.

This tradition has become popular among tourists, and millions of coins are thrown into the fountain yearly. The Trevi Fountain has also been mentioned in literary works, such as Mark Twain’s “The Innocents Abroad,” where he describes the fountain as “a fine large fountain, and in the night-time it is a good deal more impressive than it is in the daytime.”

See Also Top 38 Italian-American Movies of All Time

Mythology and Traditions

The Trevi Fountain is also steeped in mythology and traditions. The fountain depicts Neptune, the god of the sea, on a chariot pulled by two sea horses. Legend has it that throwing a coin into the fountain with the right hand over the left shoulder ensures a return to Rome.

Two coins mean a return to Rome and falling in love, and three coins mean a return to Rome, falling in love, and getting married. The fountain is also the site of an annual tradition called “Aqua Virgo,” where water from the aqueduct is blessed and distributed to the public.

4. Cleaning Schedule of the Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain is one of the most famous and popular tourist attractions in Rome. As such, it requires regular maintenance to keep it clean and in good condition. The fountain is cleaned three times a week, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, according to Monuments & sights. During these cleanings, the fountain is drained and scrubbed by the Voluntary Corps of Tourist Guides of Rome, which volunteers to clean the fountain for free.

In addition to regular cleanings, the fountain is also protected by several measures to prevent damage and maintain its beauty. For example, the water in the fountain is recycled to reduce waste and preserve the environment. The monument is also preserved through the use of green cleaning solutions, which are less harmful to the fountain and the surrounding environment.

5. Sights to See Near Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain is surrounded by several other interesting landmarks that visitors can explore. Here are some of the things to see near Trevi Fountain:

Quirinale Palace in Rome
Quirinale palazzo Photo by Wolfgang Moroder

  • Quirinale Palace: This is the official residence of the President of the Italian Republic. It is located on Quirinal Hill, which is just a short walk from Trevi Fountain. Visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the palace and admire its beautiful architecture and artwork.

  • Chiesa di San Carlo al Corso: This is a beautiful church located on Via del Corso, which is one of the main shopping streets in Rome. The church is famous for its stunning Baroque architecture and beautiful paintings.

  • Piazza Barberini: This is a large square located just a short walk from Trevi Fountain. It is home to several important landmarks, including the Barberini Palace and the Triton Fountain. Visitors can also enjoy shopping and dining at the many shops and restaurants in the area.

Facade of the Pantheon

  • Pantheon: This is one of the most famous landmarks in Rome, and it is located just a short distance from Trevi Fountain. The Pantheon is a stunning example of ancient Roman architecture, and it is home to several important works of art and sculpture.

Roaming the Streets of Rome Map
Spanish Steps photo by Shai Pal

  • Spanish Steps: This is a famous landmark in Rome that is located just a short walk from Trevi Fountain. The Spanish Steps are a popular spot for tourists, and they offer stunning views of the city from the top.

6. Dining and Shopping

When visiting the Trevi Fountain, there are plenty of dining and shopping options available nearby. Here are some of the best places to check out:

Shopping Near Trevi Fountain

There are many shops located around the Trevi Fountain area, offering a range of products from souvenirs to high-end fashion. One of the most popular shopping destinations is Via del Corso, which is just a short walk away from the fountain. This street is lined with shops selling clothing, jewelry, and accessories from both Italian and international brands.

For those looking for more unique and handmade items, there are also several artisanal shops in the area. One such shop is Laboratorio Giuditta Brozzetti, which sells hand-woven textiles made using traditional methods. Visitors can watch the weavers at work and purchase one-of-a-kind pieces to take home.

Gelato Near Trevi Fountain

No visit to Rome is complete without trying some authentic Italian gelato, and there are several gelaterias located near the Trevi Fountain. One of the most popular is Gelateria Valentino, which has been serving up delicious gelato since 1966. They offer a range of classic and unique flavors, including pistachio, stracciatella, pear, and gorgonzola.

Another great option is Gelateria della Palma, which boasts over 150 different flavors of gelato. They also offer vegan and gluten-free options, making it a great choice for those with dietary restrictions.

Restaurants Near Trevi Fountain

There are many restaurants located near the Trevi Fountain, offering a range of cuisines from traditional Italian to international. One of the most popular restaurants in the area is Colline Emiliane, which serves up traditional Emilian cuisine. Their homemade pasta dishes are a must-try, and they also offer a great selection of wines.

For seafood lovers, Sora Lucia is a great choice. This family-run restaurant has been serving up fresh seafood dishes for over 50 years. Their menu features a range of seafood options, including fish, squid, and octopus.

Finally, for those looking for a more casual dining experience, there is Piccolo Buco. This pizzeria and restaurant serves up delicious Neapolitan-style pizza, as well as other Italian favorites like pasta and bruschetta. They also offer a great selection of wines and beers to accompany your meal.

7. Visitor Information

Trevi Fountain at Night

Trevi Fountain is a stunning sight to behold during the day, but it is even more breathtaking at night. The fountain is lit up in the evening, and the lights reflect off the water, making it a romantic spot to visit with a loved one.

Visitors can enjoy the fountain’s beauty without the crowds during the evening hours, as many tourists tend to visit during the day. However, keep in mind that the fountain is still a popular spot at night, so expect some crowds.

Best Time to Visit Trevi Fountain

The best time to visit Trevi Fountain is early in the morning or late at night. During these times, the crowds are smaller, and visitors can enjoy the fountain’s beauty without the hustle and bustle of the daytime crowds.

It is also advisable to avoid visiting during the peak tourist season, which is from June to August. During this time, the fountain is packed with tourists, and it can be challenging to get a good view of the fountain.

Location of Trevi Fountain on Map

Trevi Fountain is located in the Trevi district in Rome, Italy. The fountain is situated in a small square, Piazza di Trevi, which is surrounded by buildings. Visitors can easily reach the fountain by taking the metro to the Barberini station or by taking a bus to the Piazza di Trevi stop. It is also possible to walk to the fountain from other nearby attractions, such as the Pantheon and the Spanish Steps.

Visitors to Rome should not miss the opportunity to visit Trevi Fountain. With its stunning Baroque design and rich history, it is a must-see attraction in the city. By following the tips above, visitors can make the most of their visit and enjoy the fountain’s beauty without the crowds.

Trevi Fountain: A recap

Trevi Fountain stands as a timeless masterpiece, representing the essence of Baroque architecture and mesmerizing visitors with its rich history, artistry, and symbolism. Its allure as a symbol of love, prosperity, and cultural legacy persists through the centuries, making it an essential destination for travelers exploring Rome.

For more insights into Italian Baroque and other iconic landmarks of Italy, we invite you to inquire further into our articles on “Italian Baroque” and “Italy Landmarks.” Explore the intricate web of art, history, and culture that continues to enchant visitors worldwide.