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The Trevi Fountain & the Coolest Things to Know

by Bianca @ Italian Fix

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Read in 4 minutes

trevi-fountain

Dig our blog posts and Italy City Guides? Very soon you’ll be able to check out our private tours, where we get to hang with you in person! If Italy is on your travel list this year, we’d be honored to be a part of it. 

No matter how many times we stroll through Rome, we can’t resist the temptation to make a wish and toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain. It underwent a sweet makeover by the fashion house Fendi, so it’s more gorgeous than ever! But besides being one of the most famous, fab fountains on the planet, the Trevi Fountain also has some sweet secrets up its spouts.

Here are 7 cool things we wanna share about the Trevi Fountain:

1. It’s not built for swimming…

Over the years, Rome’s relationship with tourists has been reflected in their fines –– you can now get fined for dressing up as a centurion (leave those breastplates at home!), eating and drinking around the Trevi Fountain, and even sitting on it. And for the adventurous spirits tempted to dip into its waters at night, they won’t be able to get away with it unless they’ve got €500 to spare for a fine.

Key takeaway? Keep your gelato at a safe distance. (Or, book Rome Tours with our team for your visit, and we’ll make sure you’re in the clear. 😉)

2. …unless you’re Sylvia in La Dolce Vita

There’s a beautiful scene between the characters of Marcello and Sylvia in La Dolce Vita, where they spend an evening in the alleys of Rome and end with wading through the Trevi Fountain together –– gorgeous black gown and all. It’s not as romantic as it seems, though: they shot the scene in January, and Anita Ekberg (who plays Sylvia) had to stand in cold water for hours, and Marcello Mastroianni (who plays Marcello) had to wear a wetsuit underneath his clothes! Rumor has it he settled down with a bottle of vodka to warm up afterward, and we can’t say that we blame him.

The Trevi Fountain was also featured in Roman Holiday, Three Coins in a Fountain and The Lizzie McGuire Movie.

Trevi Fountain with a crowd

Trevi Fountain lavish statues

3. Fendi’s always had a love affair with the Trevi Fountain

In 2014, Fendi declared that it wanted to give something back to its iconic city, saying that Rome had always been a big part of its creative heritage. What better way to dip their toes than refurbishing the Trevi Fountain? After 17 months, Fendi spent a whopping €2.2 million on cleaning and restoring it, and they’re not done. They’ve described their relationship with Rome and the fountains as a “love story” and the restoration of the Trevi Fountain is part of their “Fendi for Fountains” project, which hopes to preserve parts of Rome’s culture.

4. Every coin collected has a positive purpose

Ever wondered how many Euros the Trevi Fountain collects every year and where they go? Earlier in 2019, it was reported it pools together almost €1.5 million annually (the fountain averages €3000 a day) and that all the proceeds go directly to Caritas Roma, a local charity that supports Rome’s low-income and homeless communities. This venture hasn’t been without some hiccups though –– over the years, Rome’s City Council has pushed the Roman Catholic Church to consider using the money toward improving Rome’s infrastructure, but have never succeeded.

5. It’s got instructions for the romantics

According to legend: here’s the lowdown on how many Euros you gotta spare for the Trevi Fountain coin toss and what it means if you’ve got love on the brain:

  • 1 coin: you’ll return to Rome someday!
  • 2 coins: you’ll return to Rome –– and fall in love.
  • 3 coins: you’ll return to Rome, fall in love and marry a gorgeous Italian. (Okay, we added the “gorgeous” part –– but it’s probably true!)

But even if none of those things happen, at least you know the money is going to a great cause, right?

6. It wasn’t iconic until the 18th century

The Trevi Fountain might be famous now, but Pope Urban VIII was not impressed with it in 1629. Apparently, it “lacked drama.” Who has been responsible for renovating it has bounced around as well –– Pope Urban died and his renovation project stopped, a Florentine was later handed the reins but Romans were outraged by the choice, and it took two more architects working on it for it to finally be completed in 1762. They upgraded the size, marble, and limestone involved, until it became the biggest, most beautiful Baroque fountain in Italy. We share this story and more on our private Rome Tours, where you’ll get the full scoop.

7. Wine suffered for its art

The initial construction of the Trevi Fountain cost 177,000 scudi, the currency of the time. And during Pope Urban VIII’s papacy, a lot of the work done on the fountain was financed by a highly unpopular tax on wine throughout Rome. The world thanks all the wine that was sacrificed during this time.

So, armed with this knowledge, we hope your next visit to Rome will be a little more fun. In case it’s soon…

Here are some of our top tips for planning your visit to the Trevi Fountain:

  • Go anytime outside of 12PM-7PM. That’s when you’ll dodge the crowds and get more fountain facetime. Heads-up: on weekends, the fountain may be undergoing cleaning between 6AM-10AM.
  • Try to see it by day and night. There’s something crazy cool about seeing it lit up in the evening. Uber romantic when the sun is setting, if you wanna bring your sweetie. And remember Fendi’s reno job? Yup – that included 100 more LED lights to up the wow factor by night.
  • See it with a guide to get the full scoop. We will be offering Rome day tours that will take you to the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, and the Colosseum and cap it off with sunset drinks or gelato with the best view in the Eternal City. You’ll learn so much more about the story behind each of these monuments, too. Our Rome day tours are coming very soon!

Trevi Fountain and Rome at Night

Trevi Fountain tour with the Spanish Steps and Colosseum

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Getting excited for your trip to Rome? Send us an email and we’ll let you know when you’ll be able to explore the best of the Eternal City and our sweet secret spots with us!

You’ll be able to choose from a handful of our curated experiences and experience Rome the way you would with a friend.

Traveling to Florence or the Cinque Terre? We’ve got private tours coming soon for you too! 

Italy is infinitely better when you’ve got our tour team showing you the way.

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