Trevi Fountain

Rome, Italy

The Trevi Fountain is the largest Baroque fountain in Rome and one of the most famous fountains in the world. The fountain has appeared in several notable films, including Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita.

The fountain at the junction of three roads marks the terminal point of the 'modern' Acqua Vergine, the revived Aqua Virgo, one of the aqueducts that supplied water to ancient Rome. In 19 BC, supposedly with the help of a virgin, Roman technicians located a source of pure water some 13 km from the city (This scene is presented on the present fountain's fa├žade). However, the eventual indirect route of the aqueduct made its length some 22 km. This Aqua Virgo led the water into the Baths of Agrippa. It served Rome for more than 400 years.

In 1629 Pope Urban VIII, finding the earlier fountain insufficiently dramatic, asked Gian Lorenzo Bernini to sketch possible renovations, but the project was abandoned when the pope died. Though Bernini's project was never constructed, there are many Bernini touches in the fountain as it exists today.

Competitions had become the rage during the Baroque era to design buildings, fountains and even the Spanish Steps. In 1730 Pope Clement XII organized a contest in which Nicola Salvi initially lost to Alessandro Galilei, but due to the outcry in Rome over the fact that a Florentine won, Salvi was awarded the commission anyway. Work began in 1732 and the fountain was completed in 1762, long after Salvi's death, when Pietro Bracci's Oceanus (god of all water) was set in the central niche.

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Address

Piazza di Trevi 98, Rome, Italy
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Details

Founded: 1732-1762
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Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Alessandra Porciani (2 months ago)
This is one of the most beautiful fountains I have ever seen. The area is extremely busy with pedestrian traffic so squeeze your way through the crowd and get your photos, then take time to sit and enjoy the architecture. The area is also filled with shops and restaurants, it is an excellent place to walk around and spend some time soaking in the beautiful area.
Paul Hemmelhemstead (2 months ago)
Definitely worth a visit when you're in Rome. It looks magical during the day but it looked a lot better at night time. Whatever time you go, be aware that it will be chock full of people. I'm not a big fan of crowds but it is worth waiting to approach the fountain. Good luck getting a photo without other people in it though.
David Smith (2 months ago)
The Trevi Fountain was an incredible stop and a must see while in Rome. I would recommend seeing the fountain St night but I would assume it's a magical experience at any time. There were large crowds there but everyone was very polite and as long as you are patient you will be able to approach the fountain. There were law enforcement officers on scene to ensure security at all times.
Squidgy H (2 months ago)
Worth a visit if you're in Rome, a little crowded if I'm honest but there are some lovely restaurants and shops around. Would definitely recommend visiting at night too, adds a little more ambience! Around the corner there's a magnum ice cream bar where you can also make your own magnum/design with names etc.
Arnav Singh (3 months ago)
Beautiful place during the day and night. During my visit, mid February, it was very crowded. It's a belief of throwing a coin for good luck and as a promise to return to Rome. There are lots of place to buy ice-cream, which can add to the experience as you contemplate the view. If you are looking to take pictures, you will have a chance but you have to be quick.
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Porta Nigra

The Porta Nigra (Latin for black gate) is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. It is designated as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Porta Nigra originated in the Middle Ages due to the darkened colour of its stone; the original Roman name has not been preserved. Locals commonly refer to the Porta Nigra simply as Porta.

The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD. The original gate consisted of two four-storied towers, projecting as near semicircles on the outer side. A narrow courtyard separated the two gate openings on either side. For unknown reasons, however, the construction of the gate remained unfinished. For example, the stones at the northern (outer) side of the gate were never abraded, and the protruding stones would have made it impossible to install movable gates. Nonetheless, the gate was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier.

In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.

In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.

After 1028, the Greek monk Simeon lived as a hermit in the ruins of the Porta Nigra. After his death (1035) and sanctification, the Simeonstift monastery was built next to the Porta Nigra to honor him. Saving it from further destruction, the Porta Nigra was transformed into a church: The inner court of the gate was roofed and intermediate ceilings were inserted. The two middle storeys of the former gate were converted into church naves: the upper storey being for the monks and the lower storey for the general public. The ground floor with the large gates was sealed, and a large outside staircase was constructed alongside the south side (the town side) of the gate, up to the lower storey of the church. A small staircase led further up to the upper storey. The church rooms were accessible through former windows of the western tower of the Porta Nigra that were enlarged to become entrance doors (still visible today). The top floor of the western tower was used as church tower, the eastern tower was leveled, and an apse added at its east side. An additional gate - the much smaller Simeon Gate - was built adjacent to the East side of the Porta Nigra and served as a city gate in medieval times.

In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier"s numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. Only the apse was kept; but the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. Local legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.

In 1986 the Porta Nigra was designated a World Heritage Site, along with other Roman monuments in Trier and its surroundings. The modern appearance of the Porta Nigra goes back almost unchanged to the reconstruction ordered by Napoleon. At the south side of the Porta Nigra, remains of Roman columns line the last 100 m of the street leading to the gate. Positioned where they had stood in Roman times, they give a slight impression of the aspect of the original Roman street that was lined with colonnades. The Porta Nigra, including the upper floors, is open to visitors.