The Trevi Fountain – make a wish!

The Trevi Fountain is one of the iconic landmarks of Rome – famous for its Baroque design and the legend that if you throw a coin in the fountain and make a wish, you will return to Rome. Hopefully, the wish will be granted, as well.

The fountain is built at the end of an ancient aqueduct which was discovered in 19BC and carried pure water to the city. Myth has it that it was discovered by a virgin – obviously virgins in ancient Rome did not have a great deal to do apart from divine, unlike the rest of womankind.



The Trevi Fountain was redesigned in 1629 by Pope Urban VIII. Bernini was originally commissioned to resign and repair the existing fountain, but when Pope Urban died, the plan was abandoned.

It was not until nearly one hundred years later – in 1730 – that Pope Clement XII announced a competition to redesign the fountain and Nicola Salvi was eventually chosen, after locals protested about the original winner, Alessandro Galilei, because he was from Florence, not Rome. The present design was finished in 1762, after Salvi’s death.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

The theme of the fountain is The Taming of the Waters – the central figure is Oceanus and he is flanked by Abundance who pours water from an urn, and Salubrity, who offers a snake a drink of water from a cup. Of the two horses plunging in the water, one is wild and the other tame. All the statues are made from Carrara marble, which sculptors like Michelangelo used. Travertine – a type of limestone – was used for the base of the fountain and its surround.

The fountain is 26.3m high and 49.15m wide.

The fountain was cleaned in 2015 – and was reopened with a fashion show, sponsored by Fendi, who also paid for the restoration. The re-opening of the fountain coincided with Fendi’s 90th anniversary.


Video courtesy of YouTube

The fountain is popular with everyone from tourists to nuns – at weekends, you may see a newly married couple having their wedding photos taken there, too. Perhaps they threw in a coin and wished for love and their wish came true. It would be nice to think so!

Buon viaggio!


Trevi fountain


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Images copyright A. Meredith

Trevi Fountain


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