Trevi Fountain is not just one of most famous fountains in Rome, or most famous fountains in Italy, but is in fact the most famous fountain in the world.
This post lists 12 Trevi Fountain facts. It provides information on how to get to the fountain. It covers the art of coin tossing. And it answers some popular questions about the fountain.
It also list some nearby attractions that can be visited after you've snapped your Trevi Fountain photos.
- 12 Facts
- Plan Your Visit
- Coins and Wishes
- Questions Answered
- Nearby Attractions
- Things to Do in Rome
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.
2. It’s a 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 literally 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 water that brings both health and abundance.
5. Trevi Fountain Uses a Lot of Water
Over the course of 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.
As a matter of fact, there’s actually a tradition of tossing three coins!
There are other traditions revolving around how to throw your coin, but regardless of how you choose to make your wish, this practice is actually 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, it’s worth noting that the money collected from Trevi Fountain goes to charity.
10. Keep An Eye Out for Pick-Pockets
Due to the fact that 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 Mastrioanni. (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 ia a Trevi Fountain live camera you can visit oneline 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.
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.
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.
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.
This historic site is very crowded between 12 pm - 7 pm, so you might try to visit before or after that time.
Visitors indicate that 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 last activities of the day. Many suggest the best time to go to Trevi Fountain is between 8 pm - 11 pm.
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 apparently taken straight 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.
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 the 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 combined 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 again 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 around the world. 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 folks say it's cleaned Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at some point between 6 - 10 am. Others say it's every morning.
Major maintenance and restoration aren't done often and are usually announced ahead of time. Its last restoration was funded by the fashion house Fendi, who spend $2.4 million on the project.
Can you visit Trevi Fountain at Night?
Yes! In fact, 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.
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 about 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.
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.
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.
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.