Posted by: debrakolkka | December 19, 2010

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain at night

This year is the 50th anniversary of the film La Dolce Vita, with the famous scene of Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni frolicking in the Trevi Fountain.  When Mastroianni died in 1996, the waters of the fountain were turned off and it was draped in black.

It is also known from the movie Three Coins in the Fountain.  People come from everywhere to throw coins in this famous water.   Over 3,000 euros are collected each day and the money helps to subsidise a supermarket for some of Rome’s less affluent residents.

The Trevi Fountain is spectacular and I would like to think it would be popular even without the film references.  There are crowds here all day and night.  Your best bet to see it clear of people is to go very early in the morning.  I have done this several times.  It is great to have the fountain to yourself to admire its beauty in peace.

detail on the fountain

early in the morning

crystal clear water

detail on the fountain

watching from the top

As well as this chap (Neptune) keeping watch, there are police ready to blow the whistle should people try to get into the water or climb on the sculptures.  It must be tempting on a hot day to jump into the cool, clear water.

The fountain is at the junction of 3 roads (tre vie) and is roughly on the site of the end point of the Acqua Virgine, one of the ancient aquaducts that supplied water to Rome.  It was a Roman custom to build a fountain at the end of an aquaduct. The Goths didn’t like this much and destroyed them when they moved into Rome.  Happily the custom was revived in the 15th century.  The simple basin that was built was considered not elaborate enough by Pope Urban VII and in 1629 he asked Bernini to prepare a few designs for something better.  The Pope died before building commenced and plans were shelved.  Nicola Salvi was eventually commissioned to come up with new designs and the present fountain was begun in 1732 and finished in 1762.  Bernini’s original plans were consulted.  The Trevi fountain is one of the most beautiful and famous in the world.  No trip to Rome would be complete without at least one visit.

Tritons with the waterhorses

One of the waterhorses is tame and the other is wild, representing the different moods of the sea.

one more look


  1. I’ve been there! And I threw a coin in! That was nearly 30 years ago…sigh… nice to know it’s still as beautiful as it was then. Thanks Deb!

    • The fountain was cleaned up in about 1998. It is truly beautiful.

  2. One of my favourite moments at the Trevi Fountain was seeing a living statue being moved on by the police. He claimed, quite fairly I thought, that he wasn’t doing anything.

    • I don’t really understand the living statue thing. However, there was one in Florence who was dressed as Mona Lisa and he held a frame which framed his rather plain face. If a passerby moved close to him, he would attempt to kiss the unsuspecting person. He was worth giving money to. Sadly he seems to have retired.

  3. These fountain shots are simply amazing, beautiful, and simplistic.

  4. The shots are lovely… yes i have been there and was also told that 86000 euro was collected a month… haha no wonder the fountain is keep so clean and clear… they need to find every penny…. I too throw my one coin in…. as per 3 coins in a fountain fame…. ehehe only to find that we should have thrown in 2… guess there has been some inflation since the 1960’s….. love your stories…

    • There are several theories about the number of coins. In the movie Three Coins in the Fountain, one coin was thrown by each of the three people involved. This is the most referenced coin idea, and mostly is is misinterpreted.

  5. 3000 euros wow. That’s a lot of money each day. I love reading about the back ground of fountain.

  6. Beautiful picturesDeb – Julie and I were there about 4 years ago and saw a wedding there. It was so beautiful

    Wishing you a Merry Xmas and a wonderful New Year.


    • Thank you. I hope you have a great Christmas and a fabulous New Year with lots of lovely travel.

  7. Was there in the wee small hours of my 21st birthday….. aaahhh the memories 🙂 I loved it so much, will definatly go again one day for sure.

  8. When I saw the Trevi fountain, I had to fight my way through the crowds – I knew I should have gone there in the morning!

  9. […] a short walk to the end of the street,  across the road, and another short walk and you are at the Trevi Fountain.  A short walk is a slightly different direction will have you at the Piazza di Spagna, and then […]

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  11. […] the top.  Vittorio Emanuele II   Click here to see the Pantheon, my favourite place in Rome and here to see the fabulous Trevi Fountain.  Share this:ShareEmailPrintFacebookLike this:LikeBe the […]

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  14. what are the meaning of trevi fountain and what was it stand for of its statues?

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