Less than 2 weeks to the XXV Acea Maratona Internazionale…
Probably this entry is no surprise in a blog about Rome, but that’s how classics are: you can watch them, listen to them or even just talk about them a million times and you will always find something interesting about them,
The Trevi Fountain is for sure a classic. Once you see it you’ll never forget it and even if you get to stay for a long period of time in Rome you’ll find it always surprising.
Maybe a part of the impact of the fountain is the sense of movement it conveys. The baroque sculptures are vigorously dynamic and the effect of the real water running through them is almost haunting.
The story of the fountain starts with the aqueduct of Acqua Vergine, that provided the city with water. As it was common then pope Nicholas V built a basin in the endpoint of the aqueduct, but apparently wasn’t spectacular enough for pope Clement XII, who made a contest in 1730 to choose a design for the new fountain. Originally the winner was Alessandro Galilei but the romans, outraged by the fact that the winner was Florentine forced the pope to change his mind and finally the first prize went to the Rome native NiccolÃ² Salvi.
It took more than thirty years to complete the project. Or if you want to be precise thirty years, two architects and three popes because Salvi died in 1751 and was replaced with Giuseppe Panini who finished the fountain under the orders of two different popes, Benedict XIV and Clement XIII.
The theme of the fountain is The Tame Of The Waters and represents Neptune’s chariot being guided by a couple of tritons who tame two seahorses. Beside Neptune (the bearded figure) there are two niches with sculptures representing salubrity and abundance.
The fountain is a symbol of the splendor of the city, and as any important symbol has been used and misused in many different ways. In the sixties Fellini filmed there a legendary scene of La Dolce Vita that now is part of the cinematographic memory of the world. On the other hand, on the list of the misuses you can put the protest of an Italian who recently dyed red the water of the fountain putting in serious danger this masterpiece.
For a guest of the Yes Hotel is really easy to visit the fountain located in the historical center near other interesting sights like the Pantheon or the Spanish Steps. Take the red subway line from Termini, get off at Barberini station, and then walk.
When you’re there don’t forget to turn around and throw a coin in the water over your shoulder. You won’t be wasting neither time nor money, for all the coins thrown during the day are donated for the poor, and besides this ritual will guarantee you good luck and that you’ll come back to Rome some day.
(pd: I’ve just found a very detailed photo of the fountain. Click on the image to make it bigger!!)