The Italian capital is without doubt a historical place, boasting a rich and eventful past and at the same time being a modern city. When you see such landmarks as the Colosseum and the Forum, you can feel the magnificence and greatness of the Roman Empire. However, much later and younger sights attract the same quantity of visitors to this city already full of tourists.
The famous Fontana di Trevi founded in the 1700s is certainly one of the city’s – and the whole country’s – iconic constructions. It was founded on the place of an ancient source of water and – like the Colosseum – was built using travertine stone. Showed in several outstanding movies, including “La Dolce Vita” by Federico Fellini and “Roman Holiday” by William Wyler this fountain is the biggest Baroque fountain of Rome.
It is a present wonder linking us with Rome’s legendary history. Although many have heard of and even witnessed the Trevi Fountain, there are things we didn’t know until now.
The landmark’s location
The fountain is set on the junction of three roads, which can be understood from its original name “tre vie”. It is also the two age-old conduits’ ending point. The conduits appeared in 19 BC and are believed to receive their names after a girl who showed the soldiers the way to a water spring that used to exist exactly in the same location. The conduit delivered water to the busy city center as well as the numerous “thermae” and “balneae”.
The building process ended after its designer’s death
The Trevi Fountain and the Sagrada Familia basilica stories have something in common. Nicola Salvi who designed the fountain had also passed away before his idea was accomplished and didn’t have a chance to see his creation. The contest organized by Pope Clement XII in 1730 was won by a Florentine architect Alessandro Galilei, not Salvi. But the public outcry helped Salvi receive the project’s commission. The building process lasted for thirty years, from 1732 to 1762, but Salvi passed in 1751 and four other sculptors completed the construction.
One of its elements appeared out of revenge
A story exists that through the fountain’s construction, a Roman barber whose shop was located nearby and who was irritated by the working process haunted the architect with constant criticisms. As a revenge, Salvi placed a large ornamental vase (later named the “Ace of Cups” by the locals) right in front of his shop, so he wasn’t able to see works and the completed fountain.
Coins thrown in the water are destined for charity
A 1954 American romantic comedy “Three Coins in the Fountain” began the tradition of throwing change in this fountain. Coins are supposed to be tossed using your right hand over your right shoulder. According to the legend, one coin ensures coming to Rome again someday; two coins guarantee a romantic acquaintance. But if you add the third one, you will get married in Rome! Although being only a beautiful belief, the facts say that a Roman Catholic charity organization has been getting out €3000 from the fountain daily, since 2006. This money went for social help programs all over the world.