Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi) in Rome

Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain)

This photo of the Trevi Fountain is part of one of the panoramic images found on the PanoramicEarth.com Tour of Rome. There are over 100 images taken from around Rome linked to an interactive map.

The Fontana di Trevi is another one of those places hugely popular with tourists. It is in a small square not far from the Pantheon and in the early morning the surrounding buildings cast a shadow over the fountain. By the time the sun has risen high enough to light the fountain directly, so have the tourists and the square is often packed. The Trevi fountain is also very popular at night, and lit up looks magical.

At almost 30m high and 20m wide, the Fontana di Trevi is the largest and most ambitious Baroque fountain project in Rome. The name comes from it’s position at the junction of three roads (tre vie). The statues on the Trevi Fountain depict marine mythology. Neptune is the central figure, seated on his chariot being guided by two tritons blowing conch shells. Each triton is also leading a sea horse, one of which (right side) is placid while the other on the left is bucking depicting two different conditions of the oceans. In alcoves on either side of Neptune are statues representing Health and Abundance.

Other fountains existed here before the Trevi Fountain. In 1629 Pope Urban VIII decided that the existing one was inadequate and Pietro da Cortona had the idea of including it into the façade of the building. The project was abandoned but then revived in 170 by Pope Clement.

The eventual design is by Nicola Salvi who oversaw the building until excessive time among the mists the project created killed him. A sort of Baroque building accident. It is built at the end of the Aqua Virgo aqueduct, which supplied Rome with water from a fresh source 14 miles outside the city. The destruction of this aqueduct by the besieging Goth hordes contributed to the fall of Rome as the Romans had to fall back on impure waters from the Tiber. The aqueduct was repaired in the 15C.

People stand back to the fountain and throw coins into the Trevi Fountain, which is meant to ensure your return to Rome. It is not illegal to remove them, but the police take a very dim view of this. The coins are removed weekly and are meant to be given to charity. A full panoramic image showing the crowds around the Trevi Fountain is found on the Rome tour by PanoramicEarth.com. An enlargement of this photo can be found on Flickr.

For more articles on Rome see the Rome Index or select one of the labels at the bottom.

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