The Trevi Fountain was designed by architect, Nicola Salvi, in 1732 and completed by Guiseppe
Panini in 1762 and was decorated by artists from the Bernini School. Some of those artists included Giacomo Della
Porta, Carlo Fontana, Pietro da Cortona and Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The fountain's water was supplied by one of
Rome's first aquaducts. Legend surrounding the location of the fountain dates back to the time of Octavian Augustus
(27 BC) when soldiers of Agrippa returned to Rome. Exhausted and thirsty, a spring of water was pointed out to them
by a virgin. Agrippa then made the spring into an aquaduct which ended at what became known as the "virgin water".
If you look closely you will find a statue of a girl pointing to the spring.
In the 17th century Pope Urban VIII decided to build a fountain on the location of the legend but it was not
until 1732, that Pope Clement XII ordered its construction. The fountain depicts Neptune, (Roman god of the sea)
riding a chariot drawn by winged horses and being led by Tritons (mythical sea god with head & torso of a man
and a tail of a fish). Neptune and his court are surrounded by the "virgin water". On either side of Neptune, in
the recesses, are statues of Salubrity and Abundance.
The fountain takes it name from "trivio" which means the meeting place of three streets in Piazza dei
One of the most famous traditions surrounding the fountain is throwing a coin over your shoulder, into the
water. If you do, you are destined to return to Rome, if you throw two coins you are assured the love of a desired
partner and if you throw three coins you will marry your desired partner. For years the locals (and I guess some
tourists) would steal the coins from the fountain at night, but the coins are now collected and donated to
charities, such as the Red Cross. Another less known superstition/tradition is if two lovers drink the
water and break the glass on the stones their love will last forever.
Just remember if you want to skinny-dip in the Trevi Fountain there are security camera's everywhere. On the
23rd April 2007 a Milan woman made headlines after being caught naked in the cooling waters. Roberta, unknown she
was being recorded, made the front pages of one of Italy's leading newspapers (unlucky).