Night View of the Trevi Fountain, Rome
A Roman Fountain of Many Faces
The Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy is one of the most popular attractions in Rome. It is a late baroque fountain boasting sea gods, tritons and a rushing cascade of water known as the Acqua Vergine, Virgin’s Water in English, flowing from Aqua Virgo aqueduct built by Marcus Agrippa in 19 BC
In the 19th century it was said that whoever drank the water from the Trevi Fountain would return to Rome, Italy. Later on, this popular ritual was replaced with throwing coins into the fountain using the right hand over the left shoulder while making a wish.
Until about the beginning of the 20th century Romans considered the soft Acqua Vergine the best of their local waters and girls gave a glass of the Fontana di Trevi water to their boyfriends as a symbol of faithfulness when they had to go away./p>
The Fountain of Trevi is the largest Roman fountain and it is at the junction of three streets —tre vie in Italian. Some experts agree that this could well be the origin of its name, but not everybody agrees.
Photo by Patrick Subotkiewiez
A Little History
The first Fontana the Trevi was built in 1453 and at first it was very simple. Later on it went through several renovations and restorations, but the Fountain of Trevi as we know it today was only completed in 1762 by Nicola Salvi selected by Pope Clement XII and modified and finalized by Giuseppe Pannini.
The Legend Around this Famous Fountain in Rome
A popular legend holds that in 19 BC a young girl showed some thirsty Roman soldiers for the first time a source of pure water springs rising near Salone about twenty kilometers from Rome. This led Augustus to commission the building of an aqueduct leading into the city, which served the Baths of Agrippa and Rome for over four hundred years. It was named Aqua Virgo, or Virgin’s Waters, in honor of the young girl.
Photo by gnuckx
Oceanus or Neptune?
There is a very widespread misunderstanding about the central figure that presides the Trevi Fountain, Rome. The sea is the theme of the famous sculpture composition and the central statue represents Oceanus, the God of All Waters, not Neptune as it is wrongly stated in many places, even books by art experts and Rome travel guides.
Oceanus (photo above) is the divine personification of a mighty river believed to encircle the whole world from which flow all the rivers and streams. Nicola Salvi made the mighty God the central figure of the Trevi fountain, flanked by a statue of Abundance on the left and one of Salubrity, Health-giving, on the right.
Click the button below to check out the gallery of Trevi Fountain pictures, the most famous fountain in Rome, and in Italy for that matter, that attract people in droves from all over the world to this day.