The Trevi Fountain is one of the top 10 tourist attractions in Rome and really ought to be seen not once, but twice. During daytime the fountain is already an impressive monument, but it is at its most imposing after midnight, when the crowds have returned to their hotels and there are but few people left to admire this brightly lit baroque masterpiece. Throw a coin into the fountain and you are sure to return to Rome one day. Throw yourself into the water and you will be fined.
Trevi Fountain Rome
History and description
One of the most famous scenes in the history of world cinema making is the one in Fellini‘s La Dolce Vita where Anita Ekberg invites Marcello Mastroianni to join her in the Trevi Fountain.
In reality it is severely forbidden to enter the water of the Fontana di Trevi, which was designed by the architect Nicola Salvi by order of Pope Clement XII.
The Trevi Fountain (height 26m and width 22m) is, as is the case with several churches and monuments in Rome, located at the spot where there used to be a well. It was called Trevi because the square it faces is called Trevi and the square is called Trevi because three streets (“tre vie“) used to lead to it.
The statue to the right of the fountain depicts a virgin who had told a soldier where the well was to be found.
The statue dominating its center depicts the Sea God Neptune on a shell-shaped chariot. Two winged horses pull him towards the ocean. The horses, one calm and one restless, personify the two aspects of the sea.
The niches on either side of the fountain contain statues personifying “Health” and “Abundance”.
The fountain is built agains the back of the historic building Palazzo Poli. It was, and still is, fed by the Acqua Vergine Aqueduct.
Trevi Fountain Do’s and Dont’s
Of all the tourist attractions in Rome, the Trevi Fountain is perhaps the most touristy. Almost every shop in every street leading to the fountain in some way or other is part of the tourist industry. People take you picture and want money for it, people try to sell you bracelets, sunglasses, roses when you’re a couple and umbrellas when it rains. Often these days, there are so many people that you are not even allowed to stand still anymore.
It is common practice to throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain before leaving Rome. This has to be done over the left shoulder, with one’s back to the monument. According to legend this will assure a future return to the Eternal City. In the past one was supposed to take a sip of water from the fountain in order to achieve this, not the most healthy of superstitions.
Nowadays tourists sometimes think it would be nice to act like Anita Ekberg and jump into the fountain. Fines are steep, so you might want to think twice before doing this. Recently, the authorities have gone a step further and you are not even allowed to sit on the ledge around the fountain anymore.
Trevi Fountain – Piazza di Trevi, Rome
The Fontana dell’Aqua Paola is one of the most impressive fountains in Rome. It was built on top of the Janiculum Hill in the Trastevere district. For people who have seen the Italian movie La Grande Bellezza, the fountain is seen in the film’s opening scenes, when the Asian tourist has a heart attack.Continue reading “Acqua Paola Fountain Rome”
Apart from the more famous Fontana del Tritone there is another fountain near Piazza Barberini. The Fountain of the Bees can be found at the beginning of the Via Vittorio Veneto and like its more famous cousin was created by Bernini.
Fountain of the Bees Rome
The Fontana delle Api is a small, but rather elegant fountain. It was constructed in the year 1644, in honor of Pope Urban VIII Barberini.
The large bees that give the fountain its name are there because the bee was the symbol of the Barberini family.
The name of Urban VIII himself is written on the sea-shell that is the main feature of the Fountain of the Bees. The inscription on the shell states that the fountain’s water is meant for use of the public (and their animals).
The present spot is not where the Fountain of the Bees started its existence. Originally it stood on the corner of Piazza Barberini and the Via Sistina, but was taken away in 1865, not to be rebuilt until 1915.
The Fontana delle Api stands at the beginning of the Via Veneto. The nearest metro stop is Barberini (line A). The nearest bus stop is Barberini (lines 61, 62, 85, 492, 590, N1, N5, N12).
Fountain of the Bees – Via Veneto, Rome
Seen from the Piazza del Popolo, the Via del Babuino is the left one of the three streets that together form Rome‘s famous shopping “Tridente“. The street gets its name from the statue of the “baboon” near the Church of Sant’Atanasio dei Greci. Most of the artist’s studios that used to line the street have been replaced by expensive antique stores.
Via del Babuino Rome
The hill to the left of the Via del Babuino when entering from the Piazza del Popolo is the famous Pincio Hill.
The Via del Babuino started out as two different streets, called Via dell’Orto di Napoli and Via del Cavalletto. In 1925, when Pope Clemens VII ordered the construction of the new street it came to be called Via Clementina. After its completion in 1943 the then Pope Paul III, changed the name to Via Paolina Trifaria.
Most buildings in the street date from the 17th till the 19th century, however.
Before the area at the bottom of the Pincio became popular most Romans used to live near the banks of the Tiber. Problems with malaria, lack of drinking water and overpopulation caused the wealthier part of the population to start looking elsewhere.
The area at the foot of the Pincio was only scarcely populated and would have been ideal, but for the lack of drinking water. This problem was solved when the decision was taken to restore the Acqua Vergine, the least damaged of all of the city’s aqueducts. Even now a branch of this aqueduct still runs underneath the Via del Babuino and provides the Piazza del Popolo fountains with water.
A second way to get people to move to this area was to not tax shop space. This enabled foreign artists who came to Rome to set up their studios in the Via del Babuino and the Via Margutta. Famous examples are Rubens, Poussin and Van Wittel.
In the 18th century rents started creeping up and the Via del Babuino became less popular. The 19th century saw a revival however, and artists like the composers Wagner and Liszt resided in the street.
Nowadays the Via del Babuino is a street for the rich. There are hardly any artists’ studios left and the street is full of luxury antique stores.
Tourist attractions Via del Babuino
The Hôtel de Russie is so luxurious that they had to give it French name. It used to have the nickname “Hotel of Kings”. Its beautiful garden stretches up the Pincio Hill. After the end of World War II it was converted into office space, but since 2000 it performs its previous function again.
Rome’s Anglican All Saints Church occupies the Via del Babuino 153/b.
Slightly further down the road the Church of Sant’Atanasio dei Greci, which was designed by Giacomo della Porta can be seen.
To the left if this church you can see the former sudio of the Tadolini family of sculptors. The Fountain of the Baboon is placed against the facade of this building. In 1571 Pius V had a statue dedicated to Silenius, antique deity of wells and fountains, installed. This statue was so ugly that the inhabitants of the area came to refer to it as the “baboon” and the street ended up with its present name.
The Palazzo Nainer was built in the 19th century.
The Via del Babuino is now Rome‘s most expensive luxury street. Adding up the value of all of its buildings, its total worth, in 2016, came to 1½ billion Euros.
The Via del Babuino lies between the underground stops Flaminio and Spagna, both on line A. The nearest bus stop is Piazzale Flaminio (lines 89, 490, 495, 590, 628, C3, N1, N25).
Via del Babuino – Rome
Piazza Mastai Fountain Rome
Both the fountain and the Manifattura, a building in the Piazza Mastai, were designed by the architect Antonio Sarti.
A second architect, Andrea Busiri Vici, was responsible for the fountain’s actual construction, which consists of an octagonal vessel on three steps.
The coat-of-arms of Pope Mattei is depicted on the monument and in its center there is another basin on a pedestal held high by 4 dolphins. On top of that vessel 4 lion’s heads spout water.