Trevi fountain, Rome

Trevi fountain, Rome

The Trevi Fountain is one of the finest examples of Baroque art. The flow of the water is echoed by the graceful lines of carved stones, symbolizing what some have called “movement as the soul of the world.”

One of the icons of Rome, the Trevi Fountain fills the streets with the musical sound of its gushing water, inviting all who walk by to take a closer look. The monument certainly deserves one’s full attention. The sculptures are exquisitely done and capture the beliefs and symbols of Ancient Rome.

For example, the Trevi Fountain’s key feature is a chariot—though no ordinary chariot. This is shaped like a shell, led by seahorses guided by Tritons. One seahorse is serene and obedient, the other seems to be wild and untamed. This captures the sea’s unpredictable moods. The chariot is steered by no less than the god of the sea, Neptune. He is flanked by the statues of Abundance and Salubrity. The fountain also has bas-reliefs, which include a depiction of Agrippa.

The Trevi Fountain is part of the Aqua Virgo aqueduct, which was made under the time of Emperor Augustus in 19 BC. The waters, which originate from the Salone Springs twenty kilometers from the city, fed the famous Roman thermal baths. Legend has it that the waters came from a spring revealed by a Roman girl to thirsty soldiers. The aqueduct continues to work to this day, thank to the restoration efforts of Pope Clement XII.

It was Pope Clement XII who commissioned the Trevi Fountain in 1732, approaching the great architect Nicola Salvi. Salvi was inspired by an old design by Bernini, which unfortunately had been abandoned after the death of Pope Urban VIII. The fountain was completed 30 years later, in 1762.

The Trevi Fountain’s iconic status has been commemorated in films like La Dolce Vita by Fellini. Tourists also like to throw a coin into it, tossing it over their shoulders, due to the whimsical superstition that this will lead to a return trip to Rome. It is a popular attraction and is often surrounded by crowds.

Trevi fountain