Rome’s Fontana Di Trevi
by Alarice Manguray
- Period Style: Baroque
- Artists: Bernini, Salvi and Bracci
- Location: Rome, Lazio, Italy
- Originally built on the mid-15th century
“When in Rome” was released on January 2010 that centers an unlucky woman in love stealing a coin from Fontana De Amore. In reality, the fountain does not exist. It was only inspired by Rome’s Trevi Fountain located in Rome, Lazio, Italy made by Nicola Salvi.
Every year, there are countless people visiting Rome just to see the beautiful Trevi Fountain. Rome is one of the places in the world with such fantastic art and architecture. Visiting this ancient fountain is a must see in Italy.
The baroque style fountain originated from the Agua Virgo Aqueduct to provide water for thermal baths commissioned by Augustus. A young woman showed to the thirsty soldiers the spring located in Trebium in which the name of the fountain was derived. Trevi was derived from the word “trivium” which literally means three ways because the fountain is located in the intersection of three streets in Lazio. Until now, the water rushing in the fountain is still provided by the aqueduct.
Behind the fountain is a building which existed even before the fountains construction. It is the Palazzo Poli.
Changes were often made in the construction of the fountain. Pope Clementine XII was the one who commissioned the art made by Nicola Salvi to restore and to work on the fountain. Some people say that it is also often attributed to Bernini. Pope Urban VIII commissioned Bernini to do the work and design the fountain on the 17th century. It had started a century ago after Pope Urban’s death. That is where Salvi’s masterpiece’s design originated. Right after Salvi’s death on 1751, the structure was only half way done. Giuseppe Panini resumed the job and finished it after Pope Clementine XII’s death on 1762. It took thirty years in construction standing 85 feet high and 65 feet wide.
The fountain became an iconic attraction and a popular tourist destination in Italy. It is considered to be the largest fountain in Italy. You will really fall in love with the country’s magnificent art, culture and history. At night, the fountain lights up its beauty as if every sculpture is real having its human-like features and shadows cast by the yellow lighting. With its exemplifying Baroque style, the fountain presents power and movement. The whole structure seems to be a large theatre stage.
In front of the fountain is a large niche where Neptune, the god of the sea, stands with an utmost power. Neptune is riding a sea-shell shaped chariot pulled by two sea horses guided by Triton. The Triton was added by a sculpture named Bracci. The two horses symbolized the changing moods of the sea. As seen on the left side is the restive chariot depicting the sea’s mood of difficulty in control and being impatient in the face of authority. On the other side, the calmness and obedience of the sea is depicted.
The facade of the Palazzo as the backdrop the fountain consists of giant Corinthian columns, pilasters and triumphal arch.
The water at the bottom represents the sea. Many people still have a misconception that throwing a coin in the fountain will give them everlasting love, a new perfect relationship or a successful divorce but according to legend, one must throw a coin over ones shoulder with their backs from the fountain. This means that once you threw the coin, you will come back to Rome again.
Twenty-four water spouts are all over the steps and boulders of the fountain. Above Neptune are four sculptures depicting the four benefits of water in different seasons. Two sculptures beside Neptune depict health (right side) and abundance (left side).
Well, one of the reasons why Trevi, the famous symbol of Baroque Rome, is the most visited and famous fountain in Rome is because of its appearance in many Hollywood movies. La Dolce Vita, a classic hollywood movie, had its setting on the fountain itself.
There is an estimation of 3000 euros being thrown each day and around 14 ooo euros each week are collected. Though there are some people stealing coins, the money collected in the fountain are used to help the needy in Rome.
The rumors about Trevi as a love fountain is not true but near Trevi, you would spot love lockers for couples. 🙂
Epcot’s Italy Pavilion replicated some parts of the Trevi Fountain.
I would love to go to Trevi Fountain someday not to wish but to gain the incredible and incomparable experience to see one of the wonders in the world of art and architecture. Travelling is quite expensive for most of us but there are still some promos and alternatives to make it affordable.
ALARICE MANGURAY 2011-16492