Written by andreajn

Modified & Updated: 23 Sep 2023

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith

trevi fountain

As one of the well-known fountains in the world, the Trevi Fountain holds wonders more than you might know. It could play from being an Instagrammable background to a film set, to charitable work. All of these, and more, make the Trevi Fountain facts worth reading. Dive into the charming attraction in Rome.

  1. The word Trevi from the fountain’s name came from the Latin ‘Trivium,’ in reference to the crossing of 3 streets.
  2. You can find the Trevi Fountain or ‘Fontana di Trevi’ in Rome, Italy.
  3. The source of the water in the fountain is the Salone Springs, around 21 kilometers from Rome.
  4. The Trevi Fountain is the largest Roman fountain with a height of 86 feet and a width of 161.3 feet.
  5. About 80,000 cubic meters of water spills from the fountain daily.
  1. The ‘3 streets’ crossed at the fountain are the Via De’ Crocicchi, Via Delle Muratte, and Via Poli.
  2. Revenue from the Roman Lotto game funded the Trevi Fountain Project.
  3. During the pontificate of Nicholas V, a smaller fountain was already built from the 15th century.
  4. Pope Clement XII sent Nicola Salvi to replace the existing fountain with a larger one.
  5. From the start of construction in 1730, Trevi Fountain took 32 years to build until 1762.
  6. Instead of the previous Pope, Pope Clement XIII was the one who introduced the new Fontana di Trevi.
  7. The triumphal arch-designed fountain stands against the wall of the Palazzo Poli.
  8. Around 3,000 Euros worth of coins ends up in the Trevi Fountain on a daily basis.
  9. All the collected money goes to the catholic charity Caritas who, in turn, uses the money to help needy Roman families.
  10. The water of today’s fountain is 100% recycled.
  1. About 30 plant species decorate the fountain in locations that best suit their environment. 
  2. The ‘right way’ to throw your coins is with the right hand over the left shoulder.
  3. Fendi held a fashion show in the Trevi Fountain in July 2016 after sponsoring 2.5 million worth of renovations in 2014.
  4. The construction of the Trevi Fountain involves numerous injuries and a few deaths.
  5. The Trevi Fountain served as a setting in films like The Lizzie McGuire Movie, Roman Holiday, Three Coins and La Dolce Vita.
Table of Contents

Trevi Fountain Facts Infographics

Trevi Fountain infographics

The location of the Trevi Fountain sits at the edge of the Aqua Virgo aqueduct.

Agrippa, a son-in-law to Emperor Octavian Augustus, constructed the pipeline in 19 B.C. This aqueduct served as the source of water for many Roman baths and fountains in Central Rome.

Trevi Fountain designer Nicola Salvi died in 1751.

21 years into the construction, the Italian architect departed. The project was then left open for Italian sculptor Pietro Bracci to complete.

Most of the structure of the Trevi Fountain was made with travertine stone.

A class of limestone, this material is deposited by mineral springs such as hot springs. The name ‘travertine’ comes from the Latin word ‘tiburtinus,’ meaning ‘from Tibur.’ The actual Tivoli city ‘Tibur’ lies 35 kilometers eastward Rome.

travertine stones used in trevi fountain
Image by Funda Taş from Pixabay

Ocean, the mythological sea god, stands in the middle of the Trevi Fountain.

His beard symbolizes power and wisdom while his short, thick wand is an adaptation of the item in the hands of the Roman emperors in coins. Ocean’s statue is 5.8 meters or 16.4 feet high.

statue of ocean in trevi fountain
Image by Bonnie Ferrante from Pixabay

Two horses and a triumphal chariot carry Ocean in the Trevi Fountain.

The restless horse embodies the extreme strength that the sea possesses. On the other hand, the calm horse symbolizes the inner tranquil quality of the sea.

Two versions of Triton lead the horses among the statues in the Trevi Fountain.

First, it the young Triton with a strong physique. The second one is older with a twisted shell onhand for their passage announcement. Triton, the son of Neptune, is a god from Greek mythology. He is dubbed as the messenger of the sea with a representation of a merman.

triton and horse statue on trevi fountain
Image by Dominique Devroye from Pixabay

The left side of the arch features the statue of Goddess Abundance with the horn of plenty.

The goddess is a symbol of success and good fortune. Her feet stand over a toppled vase which stands as a water source. Meanwhile, the relief above her displays Agrippa in-command over the builders of the aqueduct.

The right side of the arch features the statue of Goddess Health.

She is wearing a laurel wreath and holding a cup from where a snake sips. Her Greek name is Hygieia which birthed to the word ‘hygiene.’ Additionally, the relief on her side’s upper part is a depiction of a Virgin lady pointing the soldiers to the water source.

statues on the trevi fountain
Image by Camille King on Wikimedia

Legend says that throwing a coin into the fountain would guarantee your return to Rome.

This tradition started when ancient Romans sacrificed coins in water to ask the gods of water to help them return home safe or favor their trip. Another variation says that two coins would grant you love and three would mean marriage with an Italian.

toss coin in trevi fountain
Photo from Getty Images

Snatching Trevi Fountain coins is punishable by law.

Thieving gangs used to visit the fountain at night to clear it of its money. A particular case tells of a man stealing coins from the fountain for 34 years until he got caught in summer 2002. He managed to collect up to $1000 every day using a sword-like magnet, in the early mornings. 

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