What Is the Trevi Fountain?

What Is the Trevi Fountain?
The Trevi Fountain is one of Rome's iconic landmarks, made famous through legend and film. The history of the Trevi Fountain dates to the early Roman Empire, and it remains a symbol of Rome--and romance--today.




The fountain dates to 19 B.C., when the Aqua Virgo aqueduct was inaugurated by Augustus. According to legend, the Romans located the water source with the help a virginal young girl.


The Trevi Fountain underwent several renovations. The current fountain is accredited to Pope Clement XII, who commissioned Nicola Salvi to design it in 1732. It was completed in 1762.


At 85 feet high and 65 feet wide, the fountain is ornamented in the Baroque artistic style. It depicts Neptune, the sea god, commandeering Tritons on their sea horses above the waterfalls into the pool.


The tradition is to toss a coin into the fountain with your right hand over your left shoulder. Toss one coin: return to Rome. Two coins: a marriage is in store. Three coins: divorce!


The Trevi Fountain appeared most famously in "La Dolce Vita," where Sylvia and Marcello take a midnight swim. The 1954 film "Three Coins In the Fountain" features the fountain as does "The Lizzie McGuire Movie" (2003).


Article Written By Emily Keeler

Emily Keeler is a freelance writer who specializes in travel, religion, environmental and health topics. She holds a B.A. in English and philosophy from Northeastern University and a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. She began writing professionally in 2007 with Gulliver's Travels Associates, who published her travel guides on emerging Middle Eastern and European destinations on Octopustravels.com.

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