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All About the Trevi Fountain Rome

The thing that grabs me most about the Trevi Fountain Rome is the sound of the rushing water. 

trevi fountain romeThe Trevi Fountain - one of Rome's most beautiful fountains and a must see

I hear it just before I see the fountain and it always fills me with a sense of excitement, knowing what's around the corner.



Trevi Fountain Rome - Everything You Need to Know

Because the huge fountain is in such a small space, it's simply breath-taking to come upon this little plaza from one of the small streets leading up to it, and see all at once the beautifully carved god Oceanus and his water horses bursting out of the huge basin of clear turquoise water.

trevi fountain restored - dawnThe Trevi Fountain usually has crowds all around it because it's in such a small space.

And precisely because the fountain is in such a small space, it's nearly always crowded.

So what is the best way to visit Rome's largest Baroque fountain?

Trevi Fountain Rome - when to visit it, the right way to toss coins in, how to get here, and more!

Here’s what you need to know about visiting the Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi):

What is the Trevi Fountain?

When people ask what is the big fountain in rome, the most famous fountain in Rome, perhaps the most romantic fountain in Rome, they are usually referring to the Trevi Fountain.

Please don't try to emulate this romantic couple! It will cost you a hefty fine of around 500 Euros!

The Trevi Fountain was immortalized in Federico Fellini's classic Italian movieLa Dolce Vita, starring Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg. (In 1996 the fountain was turned off and draped in black crepe to honor Mastroianni after his death. )

The famous fountain also made an appearance in other iconic films such as Jean Negulesco's Three Coins in a Fountain, William Wyler's Roman Holiday, and the Julia Roberts movie Eat, Pray, Love.

The Trevi Fountain is a monumental fountain, meaning it marks the end of a Roman aqueduct.

The fountain is made almost entirely of Travertine marble (which is not really a marble but a porous stone).

Travertine means "from the Tiber."

It's the same stone used to build the Colosseum.


The perfect 3-day itinerary in Rome

Trying to figure out how to organize your visit to Rome? I've got the perfect 3-day itinerary for first-time visitors (or those who have not been here in a while.) It works for a 2.5 day visit as well.

In my 3-day itinerary, you'll see all the major must-see Rome attractions like the Vatican, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps, and much more.

And if you have more time, or want suggestions for extra/other things to do, you'll find that there too.

Visit my page with the best 3-day itinerary in Rome for first-timers.

Why is the Trevi Fountain so enormous for the space it's in?

Measuring 26 meters (86 ft) high and 49 meters (161 ft) wide, the Trevi Fountain is the largest Baroque fountain in Rome.

When you come upon the square where the Trevi Fountain is, you'll see that the square itself is not so big. In fact, the fountain seems to take up most of it.

The square is an unusual shape, like a kind of theater, allowing a lot of people at once to get a very good look at this gorgeous fountain from all angles. 

trevi fountain basin and squareYou can see here that the basin takes up most of the square. This is one reason why it's often very crowded around the Trevi Fountain Rome. There just is not a lot of room for people in the square itself!

The fountain did not start out this size. 

The original "fountain" was just a lead pipe bringing fresh water into Medieval Rome via the Acqua Vergine.

In the 17th and 18th centuries this giant fountain was designed so the pope could have something beautiful to look at from above.

But not longer after that, when popes were not living in the Quirinal Palace any more, it didn't matter if buildings grew back up around this little square. And so they did.


Trevi Fountain Rome - the meaning of the sculptures

There are a lot of sculptures in the Trevi Fountain. What do they mean?

The main thing to know is that the global theme of the Trevi Fountain is the abundance and health that water brings.

The main theme of the Trevi Fountain Rome is water and the good it brings. Oceanus, not Neptune, represents all the earth's waters.

The statues in the center of the Trevi Fountain are Oceanus standing over two hippocamps (half horse-half fish) who are in turn being led by tritons, or gods of the sea.

The two hippocamps represent the moods of the seas - at times serene and at times wild and unmanageable.

The statues on either side of Oceanus represent abundance and health.

There are two bas-reliefs depicting the history of the Trevi Fountain - on the left, Agrippa ordering the aqueduct to be built and on the right, the young maiden showing the Roman soldiers where to find the water source.

The four sculptures along the top all represent the bounty that water brings to crops.

You can read more details about the meaning of the sculptures on the Trevi Fountain on my Trevi Fountain History page.

Palazzo Poli - backdrop for the Trevi Fountain Rome

It is curious to be looking up at the Trevi Fountain and sometimes see silhouettes of people in the windows on either side of the fountain. One wonders, how did those people get in there? 

trevi fountain rome with palazzo poliThe Trevi Fountain is at the back of the Palazzo Poli, in use today

Originally the palazzo belonged to the Duke of Conti, who came from a town not far from Rome called Poli. (Even today the building is called Palazzo Poli.)

The area called "Dante Hall", which now overlooks the Trevi Fountain, was home to an enormous and valuable library and art collections, and eventually was used to hold lavish parties for Rome's upper-crust society.

The palazzo passed through several wealthy families but eventually it became property of the city of Rome. Today it houses the National Institute for Graphic Art.

Do you want to visit the source of the water for the Trevi Fountain? You can!

Just a stone's throw away from the Trevi Fountain Rome, you can visit the original site of the source of the water that fills the Trevi Fountain, the "Acqua Vergine", or Virgin Water Aqueduct.

città dell'acquaEntry to the Città dell'Acqua, just near the Trevi Fountain Rome.

The "Città dell'Acqua" is one of the sites eligible for free or discounted entry with the Roma Pass or other Rome City Pass.

I don't really suggest you use your pass for this site, as admission is very inexpensive. There is usually no need to book in advance, but if you are really interested in this site, I suggest you take a tour.

Want to return to Rome? Toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain...

What is the Trevi Fountain Coin Toss Tradition?

It's possible this myth goes back to Ancient Rome, when people would toss a coin into a lake or river to placate the gods and help them return home safely.

Romans love their superstitions.

A well-known one, which originated in the 1954 film "Three Coins in the Fountain", goes like this:

If you throw a coin with your right hand, over your left shoulder, into the Trevi Fountain Rome, then you will be guaranteed to return to Rome one day.

Supposedly, tossing in two coins means you will fall in love AND return to Rome. 

And of course, the myth of the 3-coin toss that the movie is named for - If you toss three coins into the Trevi Fountain (always using your right hand and throwing it over your left shoulder), you will marry the person you met.

A good friend of mine who lives in Rome published her book, Three Coins in the Fountain, about how she met and married the man of her dreams, right after tossing a coin into the Trevi Fountain in Rome!

It's a great read and very funny.

What do they do with all the mOney People throw into the Trevi Fountain Rome?

Once a week, the Trevi Fountain Rome is cleaned out of the coins tossed there and the money is given to charity.

About 3,000 Euros worth of coins are tossed into the Trevi Fountain in Rome every day. 

People used to try to steal the coins out of the fountain, but they have really cracked down and now it's next to impossible. The fines are also quite hefty.

You'll be glad to know those coins are put to excellent use: The fountain is cleaned out once a week, and the money given to the Italian charity, Caritas, which spends the Trevi Fountain money to fund a low-cost grocery store for the needy.

Tips for the Best Way to Visit the Trevi Fountain Rome

Trevi Fountain opening hours

Does the Trevi Fountain close?

Nope!

You can visit the Trevi Fountain Rome 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. You can even visit it right now from your armchair with the Trevi Fountain live cam.

Cost to visit Trevi Fountain Rome

Does the Trevi Fountain have an admission price?

No.

It's absolutely free to visit the Trevi Fountain.

There are things nearby you can visit however. For more, visit our complete Trevi Fountain Neighborhood guide.

Best time to visit the Trevi Fountain Rome

As I described above on this page, the Trevi Fountain is really huge for the space it's in, so there is not a lot of room for people to gather and look at it.

This is one reason why it's often so crowded.

It can be hard to get a good photo, or a great view to yourself.

There is no secret to seeing this fountain with hardly any crowds:

Trevi Fountain is gorgeous at dawn. And even if you come at 6 am, you will likely find other photographers, too. But you can still get some gorgeous pics, also because the light is so lovely.

What not to do at the Trevi Fountain

I never like having to tell people what NOT to do, but there are a few important things you should know:

  • Don't touch the money in the fountain. It's illegal to take money out of the Trevi Fountain
  • Don't get in the fountain. If you get in the fountain, sit on it, eat on it, or even dangle your feet in the water, you will be heavily fined (from 240 - 450 €).
  • Don't let your guard down and allow yourself to be pickpocketed. This is a great spot for pickpockets especially when everyone is crowding each other.

How to visit the Trevi Fountain in a wheelchair

The Trevi Fountain is fairly accessible. The surrounding piazza is mostly flat cobblestone. If you are completely wheelchair-bound, you will not be able to go down the stairs to where the basin is, but you can get excellent views from the main level anyway.

When it's crowded, it can be hard to see the Trevi Fountain so you may want to try to come very early in the morning so you can enjoy the view without having so many heads in your way.

Where is the Trevi Fountain Rome?

The Trevi Fountain is in Piazza di Trevi in Rome's historic center (centro storico.)

Its location makes it one of the most central must-see sites in Rome, and very easy to get to and from a lot of the other must-see sites such as the Piazza Venezia, Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps, Pantheon (all about 10 minutes' walk away), and the Colosseum and Piazza del Popolo (both about 30 minutes' walk away.)

Trevi Fountain Rome Italy map

Below you can see the location of the Trevi Fountain on a map of Rome. You can click to zoom in or out and enlarge the map if you like.


How to get to the Trevi Fountain Rome

No vehicles are allowed onto the square where the Trevi Fountain is.

But you can get close. 

The City Sightseeing bus tours all have a stop nearby and you can walk there.

Directions to the Trevi Fountain by Metro

If coming by Metro, take the red line A to the Barberini metro stop

Once you get out of the metro, go downhill, taking via degli Avignonesi straight to via in Arcione and finally to via del Lavatore.

As you walk along via del Lavatore, approaching the fountain, you will hear the sounds of the water (and usually the crowds.)

You can also reach the Trevi Fountain on foot from the red line A Spagna stop.

Directions to the Trevi Fountain by Bus

To go by bus to Trevi Fountain, just take one of many that stop on via del Tritone, the large street behind Palazzo Poli.

This stop is just one block away from the Trevi Fountain.

Buses include: 52, 53, 62, 63, 71, 80, 83, 85, 160, 175and 492. The stop is called "TRITONE/FONTANA DI TREVI."

More about the Trevi Fountain Rome

For more about the Trevi Fountain, come visit these pages:




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