The incredibly ornate Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi) is the most famous fountain in Rome—and perhaps in all of Italy. At the baroque masterpiece’s center stands the Greek sea god Oceanus, who is surrounded by Tritons, seahorses, and other figures from ancient Greek and Roman mythology. Visitors to the Eternal City flock to the Trevi Fountain, as it is internationally recognized thanks to its appearances in many films, and for the legendary good-luck connotations of throwing a coin into its waters.
The Trevi Fountain is set at the end of the restored Aqua Virgo aqueduct, which dates back to ancient Rome. Water cascades from spigots in several different places, and the palace behind the fountain was redesigned to include majestic columns and statues befitting the fountain below. Visitors jockey for a position from which to throw a coin over their shoulder, supposedly ensuring a return to Rome. Rome walking and bike tours are good ways to see the fountain up close.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Wear comfortable shoes to walk through central Rome's cobbled streets. Walking tours of Rome that include the Trevi Fountain also often visit sights such as the Spanish Steps and Piazza Navona, which are far enough apart to make comfortable shoes a must.
- Distracted tourists make easy targets for pickpockets, so keep your valuables close.
- The Trevi Fountain was the central monument in the movie “Three Coins in the Fountain” and played a memorable role in Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita.”
How to Get There
The Trevi Fountain dominates the Piazza di Trevi in the historic center of Rome, not far from the Quirinal Palace. It's easiest to get there on foot or bicycle, given the narrow streets surrounding the fountain into which larger tour vehicles can't go. On the Metro, take line A to the Barberini stop.
When to Get There
The Trevi is an outdoor public fountain and is open year-round. Given its popularity, sometimes visitors have to wait their turn to admire the fountain, get a good picture, or get close enough for a coin toss. Early morning and evening visits can be quieter and more atmospheric, especially during Rome's less touristed winter months. To avoid crowds and get stunning lighting for your photos, visit at sunrise.
Throwing Coins Is a Charitable Act
Coins thrown into the Trevi Fountain add up quickly, amounting to roughly $3,600 (€3,000) per day. City officials gather the coins each night, and the money is given to a local charity called Caritas, which helps Rome's neediest citizens.