Rome's Trevi Fountain: From the Middle Ages to La Dolce Vita

September 6, 2012. When it comes to 'must see' sites in Rome, the list usually includes the Vatican, the Colosseum and of course the world famous: Trevi Fountain. 

 

Tourist

“Everybody in the world knows the Fontana di Trevi.”

 

Tourist

“It's marvelous.”


Thousands visit the fountain every day and each one of them, comes prepared with at least one coin. 

 

CARL VON HESLER 

What a Life Tours

“Throwing one coin into the 'Trevi Fountain' you are guaranteed to return to Rome. Throwing a second coin into the Trevi Fountain, you are guaranteed to fall in love with a Roman and even a third, you are guaranteed to get married to a local-a Roman.”

 

Eventually  the coins add up to thousands of euros. The city collects the money and gives it to local charities, on a regular basis. 

 

But what's the actual history behind this fountain? In Roman times, it was an aqueduct point.  In the Middle Ages it was damaged during invasions.   

 

Several designers and Popes played a role in making the fountain a reality. But the 1700's were key. That's when Pope Clement XII held a competition to see who could best rebuild the fountain. The winner was Nicola Salvi, who was inspired by the sketches Bernini left behind.  Under the rule of the monarchs, only perfection was acceptable. 

 

CARL VON HESLER

What a Life Tours

“Back in those days, you would pay a load. A load may also be your life. Eventually in the times of the construction of the Trevi Fountain, they probably wouldn't have killed you, but they definitely would have put you out of business and you would have moved on to some other aspect.”

 

The fountain was inaugurated in 1743  under Pope Benedict XIV. Like most sites in Rome, religion played a key role. 

 

CARL VON HESLER

What a Life Tours

“The funny thing is how they were able to mingle both the Christian as well as Pagan faith. Christians: the men eventually paying for it, coming up for it and eventually the idea of it. On the other hand,  the pagans: with the actual pieces that are on display as most of those figures, if not all of those figures are pagan gods and figures.”

 

The modern fountain was inaugurated back in 1743. Fresh water passed through the aqueducts for years, until 2007, when a conduct was damaged during construction. Now the recycled water is changed every two weeks. 

 

Recycled or not, people's first impression is always positive. 

 

Tourist

“It's wonderful.”

 

Now thousands of people, in a way become part of the fountain's history-one coin at a time....

 
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