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The Trevi Fountain

 

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The Trevi Fountain is one of the most recognizable monuments and tourist site in Rome, Italy. This fountain draws thousands of visitors daily during all hours of the day with its history, architecture, magnificent sculpture and the serene atmosphere created by the water. The Trevi Fountain is one of the numerous products of Baroque art, but the fountain has accumulated more significance and profound meaning over the centuries. With whimsical and mythical sculpted figures drawing attention to the gracefulness of the fountain, the Trevi Fountain has become a unique symbol of Roman art, sensuality and power.

The light and shade effects on the marble make the wind seem to bellow through the drapes and locks of the statues, agitating the waves, creating an extraordinarily intense and spectacular scene. The central feature of the fountain is a chariot in the shape of a shell, drawn by seahorses with Triton as the guide. The fountain also depicts Oceanus, and to the sides are statues of Abundance and Salubrity. Surrounding the main features, forms merge to form a representation of rocks and vegetation. The scene being portrayed by the Trevi Fountain is that of the sea.

 

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The fountain, which is designed like a monumental triumphal arch, was built against a wall of the Palazzo Poli. It measures twenty meters wide and twenty-six meters high and occupies more than half the square.

In fact, in the 15th century, a smaller version of the Trevi Fountain had been constructed under Pope Nicholas V. In 1732, Pope Clement XII commissioned Nicola Salvi to create a fountain that was larger in the Trevi Square. While a previous renovation plans had been designed by Bernini upon request from Pope Urban VIII, the design was never implemented due to the death of Pope Urban VIII. The statues were sculpted by Pietro Bracci and the fountain was not inaugurated until eleven years after Salvi’s death.

He is shown explaining his plan for the aqueduct to Augustus. The bas-relief on the right captures the moment the virgin points to the source of the spring. The allegorical statues in front of the attic symbolize the four seasons. Crowning the top is the coat of arms of pope Clement XII. Water flows over artificial rocks into a large semicircular basin that represents the sea. Every day some eighty million liters of water flow through the fountain. The water is reused to supply several other Roman fountains, including the Fountain of the Four Rivers, the Tortoise Fountain and the Fontana della Barcaccia in front of the Spanish Steps.
A popular tradition associated with the Trevi Fountain is making a wish by tossing a coin into the fountain. It is said that if you throw a coin over your shoulder into the water, you will be sure to return to Rome. An estimated 3,000 euros in coins are thrown into the fountain every day.



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