The Trevi Fountain in Rome - La Fontana di Trevi

Picture of Sebastian Erkens
Sebastian Erkens

Visting the Trevi Fountain is one of the most popular things to do in Rome since this is one of the most famous fountains in the world!

The 50-metre wide and 26-metre high Fontana di Trevi was built over a period of 29 years and has already been the setting for several famous films. 

It is regarded as a kind of reinterpretation of the Arch of Constantine and is intended to reflect the whims of the sea and the forces of nature that accompany it. 

This baroque fountain is by far the best known and most popular of the many fountains in Rome

Trevi-Fountain-Rome Italy

Visitor Information:

Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Roma

Subway: Barberini, Line A (red)

Opening hours:
Open around the clock / free admission

(0,6 km)
Piazza Navona (0,9 km)
Roman Forum (0,9 km)
Palatine Hill (1,0 km)
Villa Borghese (1,4 km)

How long to visit:
1 hour

Our hotel recommendations at the Trevi Fountain:

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Rating: 7.4 (Good)


Rating: 8.9 (Excellent)

Information about the Trevi Fountain in the video:

The fountain sculptures and their significance

In the center below the triumphal arch is a statue of the sea god Neptune, who is pulled on his shell-shaped chariot by two horses and two other sea gods. While the left horse is bucking, the right one seems to radiate obedience and calm. They symbolize the tides of the sea. 

The sculptures to the left and right of Neptune were designed by Filippo della Valle and express abundance and health. Above them are other Baroque figures such as Agrippa, who explains the construction of the fountain to Emperor Augustus. On the opposite side, you can see the Virgin who led Agrippa’s soldiers to the spring in the Sabine Mountains. Above the Trevi Fountain is the coat of arms of Pope Clement XII, as well as a Latin inscription which translates as: 

"Clement XIII Pontifex Maximus adorned the Aqueduct Virgo and presented it with abundance and salvation to the cult in the year of the Lord 1735, the sixth year of the pontificate."

Next to the inscription are 4 further statutes symbolizing the four seasons. Even if it is not immediately obvious at first glance, the window front to the left and right of the fountain belongs to the Palazzo Poli – the adjoining palace building. 

Trevi Fountain sculptures

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The Fontana di Trevi and its history

If you walk down the “Piazza di Trevi” alley in the Trevi district of the same name, you can hear the sound of the magnificent fountain from afar. Once commissioned by Pope Urban VIII, the Fontana di Trevi was first designed in 1640 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, one of the most important sculptors and architects of his time. You can see many of his stunning sculptures today in the Galleria Borghese today. 

However, due to a lack of money, only a huge, shallow fountain basin was built and the square beneath it was enlarged. A few years later, Pope Clement XII announced an architectural competition, the winner of which was to redesign and rebuild the Trevi Fountain. Surprisingly, the then unknown architect Nicola Salvi succeeded in winning the competition.   

Neptune statue - Trevi Fountain

Salvi began to devote himself to his life’s work in 1732 and built the fountain facing the rear of the Palazzo Poli building. Another 11 years after Salvi’s death, it was Giuseppe Pannini who finally completed the Fontana di Trevi in 1762. 

Due to the effects of the weather, the fountain was renovated in 1872, 1989-1991, 1999 and 2005. Since 2007, the water in the Trevi Fountain has no longer been drawn from the ancient water system from the Acqua Vergine (dating back to 19 BC). Instead, an estimated 80 million liters of water are pumped through the fountain every day.

What are all those coins doing in the Trevi Fountain?

The coin toss at the Trevi Fountain has a long tradition. According to legend, if you throw a coin over your right shoulder, you will return to Rome. If you throw two, you will fall in love with an Italian. If you throw three, you will marry your sweetheart. 

The annual income from the coin toss is now said to be over one million euros. The fountain is cleaned once a week by employees of the city of Rome and the money is donated to charity.

Coins-in-Trevi Fountain

Why is the Trevi Fountain so famous?

The Trevi Fountain became world-famous thanks to the black and white film “La Dolce Vita” (1960), when Swedish actress Anika Ekberg and Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni were tempted to take a summer night dip in the Trevi Fountain. The Trevi Fountain has also been featured in films such as Roman Holiday, Angels and Demons and The Lizzie McGuire Movie. 

How to get to the Fontana di Trevi:

Editor: Sebastian Erkens
Hey and welcome to Rome-Tourist! My name is Sebastian and I travel regularly to Rome, Italy.
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