The Trevi Fountain is one of the most popular and photographed fountain in the world. This grand fountain, most likely the most beautiful one in Rome, is located in the Quirinale district and is clearly the masterpiece of the small Trevi square. 'Trevi' is derived from the word 'Trivium', meaning 'where three streets meet'. This monumental baroque Trevi Fountain is within walking distance of the Piazza Navona and the Spanish Steps.
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The fountain was designed by the artist Nicola Salvi, who Pope Clement XII commissioned in 1732. Salvi based his design on one that Bernini started one century earlier, but he was halted after Pope Urban VIII's death. It took about thirty years to build the fountain, and it was finally completed in 1762.
The Aqua Virgo, an aqueduct constructed two thousand years ago, still supplies water to the famous fountain. General Agrippa built the aqueduct under Augustus around 19 B.C., and it brought water from the Salone springs 19 kilometers away into Rome. The Aqua Virgo, or 'Vergine', is the only aqueduct that has never interrupted to provide the city with water since the ancient Romans.
This sculptural masterpiece is a magnificent theatrical representation of the forces of the sea. Under a sober Arch of Triumph, the main figure of the fountain is that of the god Neptune (god of the sea). He is riding a shell-shaped type of chariot that many horses pull. The sea's fluctuating moods are symbolized by having some calm and obedient horses while others are restive and agitated. The galloping over water horses are guided by Triton (messenger of the sea). The water represents the sea at the bottom. A small niche to the left of Neptune has the statue of Abundance, while another on the right has the one of Salubrity.
According to legend, if you toss a coin into the fountain's water, you'll be back to visit Rome someday.