Fontana Di Trevi (Trevi Fountain) Rome’s Aquatic Masterpiece

Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi) at night

Quick Facts

  • The Fontana Di Trevi is one of the oldest water sources in Rome.
  • It is made from travertine stone, the same material as the Colosseum.
  • Over 2,824,800 cubic feet of water flows through the fountain each day.
  • Supposedly, you should throw a coin into the fountain using your right hand over your left shoulder to return to Rome. Do this twice for a new love, and thrice for marriage.
Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi) in the day

When I think back to my time in Rome, the first thing I think of isn’t of the Coliseum, the Vatican, or even the pizza, but of the Fontana Di Trevi. For some reason, every walk or stroll through the streets of Rome led me past this beautiful fountain. On my first evening in Rome, my friend led me here. The sun had well and truly set and the crowds had gone, leaving us alone with the fountain lit up to highlight the architecture. Without the masses, it felt like a VIP experience just for us, something that can be aware of when you like to travel and chase tourist attractions. 

If you visit in the evening there is a cost to all this privacy, you won’t be able to head down the lower steps to the very base of the fountain and the edge of the water. And that means you won’t be able to complete the ritual of the fountain, so I knew I would have to return again during my trip and face the crowds. This made a great opportunity to take photos without other tourists’ heads bobbing into the frame. I took my fill of photos, and satisfied, we departed in search of gelato.

Pizza and Gelato

I returned to the Fontana Di Trevi multiple times throughout my stay, everytime I went in a new direction or followed a new pathway, it always seemed to end with me circling back and ending up back here. I never minded though, every time I visited offered me a slightly different view, and I’d notice new details I had missed before. It wasn’t until the final day that I spent any significant time here though.

With so much to do in Rome, I had decided that I would focus on visiting them first, making sure I didn’t run out of time, and then return to a restaurant nearby on my last day for lunch. I decided to start by getting lunch at a nearby place, opting for a Margherita pizza. If I’m honest I can’t say the food was amazing, it wasn’t bad it was just pretty unmemorable.  My friend had warned me that anywhere that is in sight of a tourist attraction will offer food that is overpriced and underwhelming. What I did enjoy however was the dessert. Nearby is the Magnum Pleasure Bar, a relatively inexpensive experience where you can choose your flavour of ice cream, and what type of chocolate to dip it in, finishing with a choice of toppings such as honeycomb or sauces to drizzle over. 

Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi) at night

Rooftop Views

It is to my regret that in doing the research for this post and making sure everything is up to date, I found I had missed a few things. I discovered that there are some stunning rooftop bars that offer amazing views of the fountains. So if I was uncertain before, I now definitely have to return one day to visit these. They would offer a much more memorable experience than that tourist pizza I had. 

The Legend of the Fountain

Still, the fountain in itself is incredibly memorable. And with my nkw full stomach, I made my way to the fountain. Heading down the steps, I managed to squeeze myself on the wall between two loud American families with selfie sticks. I got my phone out, not for a selfie (okay one but without using a stick) but to make sure I did the fountains ritual correctly.

There is a legend that surrounds this fountain. If you stand with your back to the Trevi Fountain, and throw a coin over your left shoulder using your right hand, you will return to Rome. This dates back to the Ancient Romans. Who used to throw coins into bodies of water to make the Gods of the Water show favour to their journey or help them get back safely. Over the years this ritual has grown. It is now commonplace to hear that repeating with a second coin will find you a new romance with a beautiful Italian. And a third coin will bring you marriage. How seriously you believe in this ritual is up to you, but as they say “when in rome”. 

Rome Italy

The History of the Fontana Di Trevi

The Fontana Di Trevi actually collects around 3000 a day, from this ritual. Since 2007 the coins are collected each night and donated to a local charity called Caritas. Caritas uses the money for a supermarket program, adding money to rechargeable cards that are donated to Rome’s needy so that they can buy their everyday essentials.

Construction of the fountain started in 1732 and took 30 years to complete, however to this day it stands as the most beautiful in Rome. Reaching up to 26 metres in height metres wide, the scale is nothing short of impressive. A fountain that size goes through a lot of water too, approximately 2,824,800 cubic feet of water a day to be exact. It is a wonder it runs so well considering it is one of the oldest water sources in Rome, but it is just a marvel when you look at the level of detail that has gone into its creation. Not only was the craftsmanship of such high quality that it still looks brand new today, but they created this masterpiece without the aid of modern machinery, using little more than hammers and chisels.

I really would encourage anyone to visit the Fontana Di Trevi if you are visiting Rome, it surprised me by being my favourite place to visit. It’s centrally located and surrounded by other nearby tourist attractions so it isn’t out of your way. It’s also free to explore, and complemented by amazing spots to grab a drink or some gelato.

Do and Don'ts guide of the Fontana Di Trevi

Fontana Di Trevi FAQ’s

How much does it cost to visit the Fontana Di Trevi?

The Fontana Di Trevi is free to visit at all times of the day. 

Where should I visit next?

There are loads of activities near to the Fontana Di Trevi for you to visit. I would recommend the Colosseum as its only a short walk. Or if you want to head to a new country then theres the Vatican City. I have attached a link with Get Your Guide below showing some of the latest activities in Rome. By booking through this link I will get a commission which helps support the blog.

When is the best time of day to visit?

It’s entirely subjective, in the daytime you have crowds but there’s also gelato and you can take part in the ritual. In the evening it’s a lot quieter and more private but it is darker even with the fountains lights so you may miss some details.

Where can I find the Fontana Di Trevi?

The best way to get here is a short walk from the Spanish Steps, it’s easily signposted and takes you through cute streets and beautiful buildings, as well as some other tourist spots on the way.

Where can I eat nearby?

Yes the area near the Fontana Di Trevi is packed full of restaurants, bars, and gelato shops nearby. Italy is known for its food and Rome is no exception. No matter what direction you go in you will quickly find places to eat.

Can we sit on the of the Fontana Di Trevi?

No this is a fineable offence, if caught doing so the fine can be 400 euros plus tax.

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