14 Fun Facts About the Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain design is a result of a competition organized in 1730 by Pope Clement XII. Initially awarded to Alessandro Galilei, a Florentine. Public outcry against Galilei caused the commission to be awarded Nicola Salvi. Work began on the fountain in 1732 and was completed in 1762. Giuseppe Pannini completed the fountain after Nicola Salvi passed away in 1751. The central statue is of Oceanus, the god of all water. To the left is the statue Abundance and to the right Salubrity(Health).

Fun facts:

1. The Trevi Fountain stands 85 feet high and 65 feet wide. It is Italy’s largest and most famous Baroque fountain.

2. The original winning design chosen was by Alessandro Galilei. Due to the outcry of the Roman people the design was awarded to Nicola Salvi who was Roman.

3. Each day approximately 3,000 Euros are collected in the Trevi Fountain. Euros are removed from the fountain each night and given to Caritas, a charity which distributes it to the needy of Rome.

4. The origin of tossing a coin in the fountain came from pagan origins. The coin intended as an offering to the goddess of the sea for safe travel.

5. The name Trevi Fountain was derived from the fountain’s location. Located at the terminus of three streets: Via De’Crocicchi, Via Poli and Via Delle Murate.. It is also the end point of Aqua Virgo, one of Rome’s earliest aquaducts.

6. The Trevi Fountain backs onto the Poli Palace which houses the National Institute of Graphic Art.

7. The Romans utilized viaducts, underground natural water springs and waterways to distribute fresh water to the people. Fountains were built to indicate where people could gather water for their homes.

8. A smaller fountain once stood in this location. It was damaged during an invasion of Rome where the Trevi Fountain now stands.

9. The number of fountains throughout Rome in the 4th century was 1352, many still stand.

10.  Trevi Fountain has been modified to recycle the water in a closed loop to eliminate waste. The same modification has been done to all the fountains of Rome. The water from the fountains are not drinkable but a pipe next to each supply fresh drinking water.

11. The horse statues within the Trevi Fountain represent the two tempers of the waters of the world. The rampant horse’s rider is Triton, Neptune’s son. He blows through a conch shell to affect the waters of the world from storm to calm.

12. The statue of the Goddess Abundance stands to the left of Oceanus. She carries a cornucopia which symbolizes providing an assured abundance to the Roman people.

13. To the right of Oceanus is the Goddess of Health, her likeness is located throughout Rome. As part of the statue you can find a snake eating from a bowl in her hand. Her job was to keep the Romans healthy and to promote hygiene and cleanliness.

14. Another piece of symbolism in the Trevi Fountain is a bunch of grapes. The Romans believed grapes to be a sign of virility as well as a symbol of the great God of Ecstasy, Bacchus.