At Italy On This Day you will read about events and festivals, about important moments in history, and about the people who have made Italy the country it is today, and where they came from. Italy is a country rich in art and music, fashion and design, food and wine, sporting achievement and political diversity. Italy On This Day provides fascinating insights to help you enjoy it all the more.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Trevi Fountain inaugurated

Famous fountain now helps raise money for the poor


The Trevi Fountain was opened by Pope Clement XIII
The Trevi Fountain was opened by Pope Clement XIII
Rome’s iconic Trevi Fountain, Fontana di Trevi, was officially opened by Pope Clement XIII on this day in 1762.

Standing at more than 26 metres high and 49 metres wide it is the largest Baroque fountain in Rome and probably the most famous fountain in the world.

It has featured in films such as La Dolce Vita and Three Coins in the Fountain.

For more than 400 years a fountain served Rome at the junction of three roads, tre vie, using water from one of Ancient Rome’s aqueducts.

In 1629 Pope Urban VIII asked Gian Lorenzo Bernini to draw up possible renovations but the project was abandoned when the pope died.

In 1730 Pope Clement XII organised a contest to design a new fountain. The Florentine Alessandro Galilei originally won but there was such an outcry in Rome that the commission was eventually awarded to a Roman, Nicola Salvi.

Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg in the  fountain scene in Fellini's La Dolce Vita
Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg in the
fountain scene in Fellini's La Dolce Vita
Work on the fountain began in 1732 but Salvi died in 1751 when it was only half finished. Made from Travertine stone quarried in Tivoli near Rome, the fountain was completed by Giuseppe Pannini, with Oceanus (god of all water), designed by Pietro Bracci, set in the central niche.

Coins are traditionally thrown into the fountain using the right hand over the left shoulder. This was the theme of the 1954 film Three Coins in the Fountain and the award-winning song of that name.

An estimated 3000 euros are now thrown into the fountain each day and the money is used to subsidise a supermarket for needy people in Rome.

Travel tip:

One of Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s most spectacular works in Rome is the fountain of the Four Rivers, Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, in Piazza Navona, with four marble figures symbolising the four major rivers of the world. It was designed in 1651 for Pope Innocent X.

The Fontana del Tritone in Piazza Barberini
The Fontana del Tritone in Piazza Barberini
Travel tip:

The Fountain of the Tritons, Fontana del Tritone, in Piazza Barberini in Rome was designed and built by Bernini near the entrance to Palazzo Barberini, the home of Pope Urban VIII’s family.



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