Thursday, January 27, 2011

Trevi Fountain, Rome

Trevi Fountain, Rome
Trevi Fountain brings back fond memories of romantic movies such as Roman Holiday, La Dolce Vita, and Three Coins in a Fountain. At least seven other movies have featured the fountain as it makes a good back drop for any scene.
Trevi fountain was on Christine's must see list. She loves the movie Roman Holiday.
The smile of happiness even though she didn't get to wade in the water as did Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday or stand in it as did Anita Ekberg in La Dolce Vita.
My smile shows that if Christine is happy, I'm happy. Also I get to show out my Pedal Pushers hat.
A friendly person offered to take our picture.
 The aqueduct had its origins in the year 19 B.C. under Agrippa, the son-in-law of Emperor Augustus.  Trevi is said to be the name of the shepherdess who showed thirsty Roman soldiers a spring. From the spring an aqueduct was built to supply Rome with fresh water for its citizens and its fountains.
The fountain was designed as a large basin in a semi-circular shape. One can go down steps to get close to the two-tiered basin as it is sunk right below pavement level. If one has seen "Three coins in a Fountain", they are aware of the legend of "coin throwing" in the fountain. If visitors throw a coin into the fountain, they are ensured a return to The City of Rome. There are other legends that two coins thrown will ensure a marriage will occur soon, and three coins lead to a divorce or breakup. Remember, there were three ladies who threw coins in the movie. They didn't each throw three coins. (Just wanted to keep our legends straight). The legend is wide-spread among the visitors and tourists as some $3,500 is thrown into the Trevi Fountain each day. The coins are collected at night and are used to subsidize a supermarket for Rome's needy.
The fountain, statutes, and facade, like so much of Roman architect, is intricate in detail and symbolism.
 At the top is the coat of arms of Pope Clemente XII flanked by two winged angels. In the middle is the inscription of Pope Clemente dedicating the fountain in 1735. To the sides standing on top of the four columns are the statutes of the four seasons.  From left to right, the statues symbolize Abundance of Fruit, Fertility of the Fields, the Gifts of Autumn, and the Amenities of Meadows and Gardens.
To the left of the arch is Agrippa commanding his men to build the aqueduct. On the right is a relief of the virgin Trevi showing the spring to the soldiers.

In the middle is Oceanus. To the left is the statue of Abundance holding the horn of plenty. To the right is the statue of Health, crowned by a wreath of laurel and holding a cup a snake drinks from.
Standing in the center of the triumphal arch is Oceanus; Titan of Water, Seas, Lakes, Rivers, Ocean, Streams, and Ponds.  The statue is 16 feet high. Oceanus is carried on his triumphal coral chariot by two horses attended by two Tritons (merman-like creatures). One horse is restless, one is calm symbolizing the fluctuating moods of the sea. One Triton is strong and young, one is older and holds a twisted shell that is used to announce their passage.
As much as we would like to linger, Oceanus seemed to be pointing the way to our next adventure-- visiting the Forum and the Coliseum.


  1. I loved Roman Holiday! I had a mad crush on Gregory Peck. That Audrey Hepburn was one lucky lady!
    Great pictures here, too. Thanks for sharing these.

  2. @Edie. Thanks. Been watching the weather. Too bad you are still snowed/iced in. Our weather is tolerable so there is a group ride scheduled tomorrow.

  3. $3500 a day? I am happy to know that my contributions went to a good cause. What great research you did on the history and symbolism of the fountain. Good job! Didn't you just walk your legs off all around the ancient city? I guess bikers' legs are stronger than mine were when I was there. We walked miles and miles every day there. Rome is my favorite city in all the world (of those I have visited). I fantasize moving there and living in the Piazza Nuevo for at least 6 months, working in a gellato shop. :)

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  5. Stunning quest there. What occurred after? Good luck!