13 Cool Trevi Fountain Facts

Updated: Januar 27, 2024

Trevi Fountain is not just one of the most famous fountains in Rome or even the most famous in Italy. It's the most famous in the world.

Our local tour guides who live in Rome have taken tens of thousands of guests to the Trevi Fountain where they talk about the fountain's history, its architecture, and some cool facts about it.

Here are 13 of those cool facts along with all you need to know to visit the Trevi Fountain, from how to get there, when to go, and the art of coin tossing.

We also answer some popular questions about the fountain and point out nearby attractions you can visit once you've taken all your Trevi Fountain photos.

At the bottom of this post, you’ll find some advice from locals and visitors to Rome about seeing the fountain.


1. The Trevi Fountain is Big

This is the largest Baroque fountain in Rome and one of the most famous fountains in the world.

At 85 feet high and 65 feet across, this fountain and its piazza take up almost an entire city block.

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2. It’s Part of an Early Aqueduct System

Standing at the junction of three roads, the Trevi Fountain marks the final point of Aqua Virgo, one of the earliest aqueducts in Rome.

The name of the fountain itself means “Three Street Fountain.”


3. The Statues Feature Gods and Tritons

In addition to various mythological figures such as winged horses and sea nymphs, the gods below are depicted.

The center of the fountain features a statue of the god Oceanus being pulled by a chariot of two seahorses.

This symbolizes both the abundance of water and its power.

Two Tritons lead the horses on either side, one holding a twisted shell to announce Oceanus' arrival.

Note that they are half human and half sea creatures, with the torsos of a human as well as fishtails.

At the left of the main arch is a statue of Abundance. In holding up a cornucopia, or horn of plenty, she is representing abundance and prosperity.

It is also a nod to Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, who had the Aqua Virgo aqueduct built, bringing drinking water to Rome.

A statue of Salubrity, the goddess of health and well-being stands on the right. She symbolizes water's healing powers.


4. There is a Theme to the Fountain

The overarching theme of the Trevi Fountain is "taming the waters", a clear reference to the aqueducts which provide Rome with water that brings both health and abundance.


5. Trevi Fountain Uses a Lot of Water

In one day, this fountain will produce 2,823,800 cubic feet of water.

All of it is recycled, so you don’t have to worry about any water going to waste!


6. The Water is Not Safe for Consumption

Since the water for this fountain is recycled, it is not safe to drink.

Thankfully, there are a lot of fontanelles around the city where you can get fresh, safe water to drink for free.


7. No, You Can’t Get Into the Fountain

Nobody is allowed to set foot in the Trevi Fountain.

There is a €500 fine for entering the structure, so you should avoid this at all costs.


8. Yes, You Can Make a Wish

Visitors are welcome to make a wish and toss a coin into the fountain.

But you might want to throw three, which is the tradition!

There are other traditions about how to throw your coin, but regardless of how you choose to make your wish, this practice is quite common.

For more details, please check our section devoted to coins and wishes.


9. All the Coins are Donated

Even if you don’t believe in the myths about tossing a coin into the fountain, you can feel good that the money that ends up in the water ((over €1 million a year!) goes to charity.


10. Keep An Eye Out for Pick-Pockets

Because more than 1,000 people visit this landmark every hour, the Trevi Fountain is a popular spot for thieves to pick-pocket.

Make sure to keep your belongings safe and secure!


11. This is a Famous Filming Location

If you've ever wondered why Trevi Fountain is famous, this is one of the biggest reasons the landmark continues to be well-known across the world.

Trevi Fountain has been used as a filming location and backdrop in many notable movies, most famously Fellini's La Dolce Vita.

It was here that Anita Ekberg frolics in the fountain, eventually joined by Marcello Mastroianni. (See #7 for why that's not a good idea today).

A few more films:

  • Roman Holiday
  • Three Coins in the Fountain
  • When in Rome
  • Angels & Demons

12. There is a Webcam Over Trevi Fountain

If you can’t visit the fountain in person, no worries. There is a Trevi Fountain live camera and you can visit it online from anywhere in the world.

This is also a great way to get a feel for the best time to visit, as you can get a look at what the crowds look like during different times of the day.   

Click here to see the Trevi Fountain live camera.


13. Trevi Fountain is Open to the Public Day and Night

Did you know you can visit Trevi Fountain at night?

The fountain is open to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Nighttime is one of the best times to visit. Fewer people are there (though it is still quite a lot until late in the evening) and the lit fountain is stunning.

If you’d like to go during the day, be aware that the fountain is cleaned on some weekday mornings and takes a few hours.

Read below for the best visiting times.


PLAN YOUR VISIT

In this section, we will cover important information about how to find the Trevi Fountain.

We recommend what time you might want to visit, how much time to spend at the landmark, and some of the things you can and cannot do while you’re there. 

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Location of Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain can be found on Piazza di Trevi. This street surrounds the fountain on two sides and it can be reached from several popular roads nearby.

Use this Google Maps link for specific directions to the Trevi Fountain.

Where is the Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain is also within walking distance of many notable landmarks.

The closest Metro station is at Piazza Barberini. From here, head West on Via del Tritone until you reach either Via della Stamperia.

Head South on Via Stamperia until you reach Piazza di Trevi. The fountain will be on your right.

Check out our guide to mastering Rome's public transport system.

Hop-on-hop-off bus tours will take you even closer than the Metro.

The stop for Trevi Fountain/Spanish Steps is about 3 blocks south of Piazza Barberini on Via del Tritone. 


Best Time to Visit Trevi Fountain

Although there aren’t technically any set operational hours for the Trevi Fountain, there are times that you may want to avoid visiting.

If you want to get a good look at the fountain, it will be important to visit when the surrounding piazza isn’t too busy.

Trevi Fountain Rome

This historic site is very crowded between 12 pm - 7 pm, so you might try to visit before or after that time.

The fountain is usually cleaned early on weekday mornings sometime between the hours of 6 am - 10 am, and this is not the best time to go to Trevi Fountain.

Once the sun goes down, this famous landmark lights up. As luck would have it, the area is typically less crowded at this time.

For the best results, consider making this one of your very first or last activities of the day.

Many suggest the best time to go to Trevi Fountain is between 8 pm - 11 pm. Others say that it's worth getting up very early to get there by 6 am.

You could also view the webcam to see how crowded it is.


What to Expect

Although the Trevi Fountain is very large and there is a lot of room to move around, there are times when this area can get pretty crowded.

Chances are your view won’t ever be too obstructed, but you may have trouble getting close to the fountain and throwing in coins

Don't fall in. If you are caught stepping into the fountain, you may be charged up to €500. It’s also a crime to steal coins from the water.

Plan to set aside at least 15 minutes for this activity, but many people linger much longer.

TIP: If it is crowded, some thieves may take advantage of the situation to get closer and try to steal money or other possessions.

Here's a helpful video showing you how and where pickpockets work. 


COINS AND WISHES

Most people know about the ritual of throwing a coin into a fountain and making a wish, but they do things a bit differently at this landmark.


How To Throw Money In

There are two traditions to consider before you depart with any money:

One method is to use your right hand and throw the coin over your left shoulder.

The other is to throw three coins into the fountain. The first coin is for your return to Rome, the second brings the promise of a new romance, and the third will ensure marriage.

At least one of these traditions is supposedly taken from the film Three Coins in the Fountain.


Money Thrown into the Fountain

Whether or not the legends and tales about wishes made at Trevi Fountain have any bearing, it’s a lot of fun.

Even if you don’t believe in the myths about tossing a coin into the fountain, it’s worth noting that the money collected from Trevi Fountain goes to a good cause.

The coins tossed into this fountain are donated to a charity called Caritas which provides locals in need with food and other essentials.

Roughly €1.5 million ($1.7 million) is collected each year, making it one of the most profitable fountains in the world. 


QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Trevi Fountain is one of the most well-known and visited sites in Rome, and folks often have questions about it.

We've listed out some of the most popular questions below and the answers.


When was Trevi Fountain built?

Construction began on Fontana di Trevi in 1732. It was completed in 1762.


Who Designed Trevi Fountain?

Pope Urban VIII originally asked artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini to sketch out a new fountain in 1629. When the pope died, for the most part, Bernini's ideas were discarded.

In 1730 Pope Clement II held a contest to design a new fountain.

Alessandro Galelei, an architect from astronomer Galileo's family, won the commission but there was a public outcry because Galelei was not Roman but Florentine.

Eventually architect Nicola Salvi, a Roman, was given the commission.

Of course, the fountain became his best-known work, becoming one of the finest examples of Baroque art and one of the most beautiful fountains in the world.

Sadly he died before it could be finished, and it was completed with some minor modifications by Giuseppe Pannini.


Why was Trevi Fountain Built and What Was it Used For?

The fountain was partly built out of practicality. The fountain that originally existed in its place was not up to the job and a new fountain was commissioned.

It was also built to celebrate the completion of the Acqua Vergine aqueduct (Aqua Virgo aqueduct), which brought drinking water to Rome.

It was constructed on the end of the aqueduct and signified that water was in great supply.

Finally, it was built to show the talent and grandeur of the Roman Empire.

What better than a stunning Baroque Fountain that combines elements of Roman heritage and classical mythology?


What is Trevi Fountain Made Of?

Trevi Fountain is mostly made of limestone, specifically travertine stone.

This is the same material the Colosseum was built from and is what gives the fountain its light beige color.

The statues are made of Carrara marble.


What is the Building Behind Trevi Fountain?

Palazzo Poli or Palazzo Conti di Poli dates back to 1566.

It was purchased, renamed, and repurchased until it ended up in the hands of the Poli and Conti families, who added extensions and incorporated other buildings nearby.

In 1731, the architect of Trevi Fountain, Nicola Salvi commissioned an architect to design the perfect facade to go along with the fountain.

Today the building houses Institutio Nazionale per la Grafica, the National Institute for Graphic Design.


Why is Trevi Fountain Famous?

There are a few reasons Trevi Foutain has become the most famous fountain in the world.

First of all, the fountain is stunning. It's a true representation of Baroque design, and with its size and artistic detail it's just something that draws people to it.

Movies and pop culture have meant this gorgeous fountain was shared on screens worldwide.

After seeing movie characters throw coins in the fountains, many tourists want to follow suit.


When is Trevi Fountain Cleaned?

That's hard to answer. Some people say it's cleaned Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at some point between 6 - 10 am. Others say it's every morning.

A viral Tik-Tok video from late 2023 says it is on Mondays and Fridays at 8 am.

Like so many things about the Italian lifestyle, it happens when it happens!

As for major maintenance and restoration, it doesn't happen often and is usually announced ahead of time.

Its last restoration was funded by the fashion house Fendi, who spent $2.4 million on the project.


Can you visit Trevi Fountain at Night?

Yes! It is even more beautiful at night as the fountains and its surroundings are all lit up.

It's often less busy at night as well, which means fewer folks jostling to make space for pictures.

We highly recommend visiting the Trevi Fountain at night.


NEARBY ATTRACTIONS

The Trevi Fountain is a popular meeting place on the way to several famous attractions that are located nearby.

It’s only about 5-10 minutes away from the following landmarks.

If you’re interested in learning more about these locations or seeing additional sites in the area, check out our post on tours in the Rome city centre.


The Spanish Steps 

Located about 6-7 blocks north of the Trevi Fountain, this famous set of stairs is another popular meeting location where locals and tourists alike will often spend some time.

Read our post about the Spanish Steps for more details.


Piazza Barberini 

In addition to providing the closest metro stop to the east, this plaza is also quite historic.

This whole area was once known as the Circus of Flora, where the Floral Games were held to celebrate the first bloom of spring in May.


The Pantheon 

You’ll find this popular destination just west of the Trevi Fountain.

This is one of the most impressive architectural feats in all of Rome and it is currently still free to visit.

For more details, read our post about the Pantheon.


Piazza Navona

If you’re heading west, make sure to stop at this plaza and enjoy the three fountains here as well.

Many popular activities such as operas and other performances are held at nearby locations.

Read our post on the Piazza Navona for more details. 


The Mausoleum of Augustus

Although it’s a bit further out of the way, you may also want to walk the 8-9 blocks to reach this famous landmark.

You can’t go inside, but the view from outside is worth a look and the sepulcher is located right next to the river.


Tips From Locals and Travelers

If there's something you want to know about the Trevi Fountain that we didn't cover here, or have a specific question to ask, take a look at our Rome Travel Tips Facebook group.

You don't need to become a member to read the posts, comments, and recommendations.

Rome Travel Tips Facebook Group

Here are some tips from members of a Facebook group called Rome & Italy Travel.

Though we cover these topics above, it’s always good to hear them again from people with different experiences visiting the fountain.

First, given the number of people who visit the fountain every day (over 1,000), you can expect it will be quite crowded many hours of the day.

Here three travelers suggest the best time to go to avoid the crowds.

Hannah suggests very early in the morning before 6 am!

Anne lucked out by passing by a few different mornings at 8 am. She managed to get pictures with no one else in them, but don’t count on this possibility every morning at that hour.

If ever there was a good reason to have insomnia, this is it!

If you want to get pictures from a unique vantage point, here’s a little-known secret from Vicki on how to get an unobstructed view of the fountain.

One thing to be aware of is the occasional possibility of barricades blocking up-close access to the fountain. Here are a few reasons why that might be.

Last but not least, always keep safety in mind. Here’s a common scam to look out for.


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About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo, Washington.org, and more.
Updated: Januar 27th, 2024
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