Easily the most famous fountain in all of Rome, the Trevi Fountain is hidden in the center of Rome, although this was not its original location. The large, two-tiered structure was created over time and with additions and amendments from notables in Roman history. Pope Urban VIII decided to move the origins of the Trevi fountain into Poli Palace, but his dreams of refitting the fountain were never carried out.
Pope Urban VIII wanted to build a grand fountain using materials salvaged from the Pantheon and from part of the tomb of Cecilia Metella. Romans, not enthusiastic about taking part of their ancestry to use in a new building project, were less than thrilled with the new plans and soon the Pope scrapped his ideas. It was not until eleven additional Popes had ruled over the city that the fountain became as grand as we see it today.
The architect Niccolo Salvi worked on behalf of Pope Clement XII to use the original plans of Pope Urban VIII and his architect Bernini to create a grand fountain. Salvi added his own elements and thoughts to the design, but despite his labor and oversight, the fountain was not completed during his lifetime.
When it was finished, however, the Trevi Fountain was considered to be one of the grandest in Rome and still is today. Tourists are encouraged to visit the fountain, and many heed this advice. The tourists come throughout the day, but particularly at night to drink a toast to the city and throw coins into the water.
The recessed pool of the fountain and the stairs you must climb to reach the base of the large semi-circular monument make it feel as though you are no longer in the heart of bustling Rome while gazing at the sea god, Neptune, and his seashell chariot and sea horses.
Why Throw Coins?
The tradition of throwing a coin into the Trevi fountain dates back into legend. According to the most popular legend, throwing a coin into the fountain ensures you will be returning to Rome in the future. Throwing in two coins guarantees a marriage will soon occur and three coins symbolizes an impending divorce or separation.
Another legend states that you will become lucky if you throw three coins with your right hand over your left shoulder into the water. All told, $3,500 worth of coin is thrown into the fountain each day. Coins are collected at night and used to subsidize a grocery for local poor.