If you love stunning ancient architecture, then Rome is like a playground. You simply cannot visit Rome without paying tribute to the Trevi Fountain in the Quirinale district of Rome. Built in Fourth century Rome, this stunning fountain features a display of the gods frolicking in the water. Let’s take a look at some interesting facts about this outdoor water feature:
Trevi Translates as “Three Ways”
Translated as “three ways,” Trevis is believed to refer to the intersection of three roads on the Piazza dei Crociferi. It’s possible that the fountain also reference the goddess, Trivia. With three heads, this goddess could see all her surroundings and protect the streets of Rome. According to legend, Trivia preferred to monitor the streets of Rome at this famous intersection.
The Pope’s Fountain Design Contest
Believe it or not, Pope Clemens XII held a contest to find a designer for a new fountain. Some sources believe that Alessandro Galileo (cousin of the famous astronomer) originally won the contest, but the citizens weren’t having it. Galileo was a Florentine, which wasn’t cool with the citizens of Rome.
They wanted a Roman designing the fountain instead, and the pope listened. Nicola Salvi came to the rescue, but he didn’t live to see his project’s completion. The fountain wasn’t actually completed until 11 years after Salvi passed away.
Financed By the Lottery
Constructing such a magnificent work of art wasn’t cheap, but the pope found an interesting method for financing such a project. A third of Rome’s lotto money was used to pay for the fountain.
Made Out of Travertine Stone
The Trevi Fountain is constructed out of the same material used to build the Colosseum, travertine stone. In Latin, travertine translates into “from the Tiber.” Working with this type of stone was treacherous because it was so heavy. Many workers hurt themselves during the construction and one unfortunate stone cutter even lost his life in 1734 when he was crushed to death.
People believe that if you throw coins into the fountain, you will return to Rome. Apparently, a ton of people want to return to Rome, because thousands of dollars worth of coins are thrown into the fountain on a daily basis. If you are searching for love, throw an extra coin into the fountain.
Each night, the coins are collected and donated to a Roman charity that distributes grocery money to its citizens in need. If you throw two coins into the fountain, you will return to Rome and find love and you are donating to a good cause, so you really can’t lose.
With so much money thrown into the fountain on a daily basis, it should come as no surprise that thieves try to steal money from the structure. In 2011, a reality TV show caught some of these thieves. Another thief stole coins from the fountain for over 34 years before he was finally caught in 2002.
Fountain Draped in Black
Featured in a variety of movies, the Trevi Fountain is most famous for its scene in Frederic Fellini’s’ film, La Dolce Vita. The most well-known scene in the movie features a glamorous movie star wading through the fountain draped in a beautiful evening gown.
When the film’s star, Marcello Mastroianni, passed away in 1996, the fountain was turned off and draped in black crepe to honor the actor.
If you love fountains as much as we do, you may be looking to add one into your landscape. Elemental Fountains creates outdoor water features for businesses and residences in Phoenix, and we would love to create a work of art for you. If you would like to add a garden feature to your home or business, contact us today.