After nearly 2 years under scaffolding the Trevi Fountain is finally open and the water is running once more. Italian design house Fendi provided €2 million for the restoration.
I have watched the scaffolding and the workmen over the past 2 years and the disappointed faces of the visitors as they arrive to see the fountain covered up. The restorers have tried to accommodate tourists. At one time there was a platform built across the fountain and very close to the sculptures, which was great.
When I went past in early October there was a glass screen in front of the fountain. Heavy rain obstructed the view that day.
I was in Rome 2 weeks ago and it was clear that the fountain was almost ready to be uncovered. The sculptures were sparkling clean and looking fabulous.
Here are a few photos I have taken over the years.
The Trevi Fountain is one of the most recognised fountains in the world. It is at the junction of 3 roads, which explains the name Tre Vie. It sits at the site of the end point of Acqua Virgine, one of the ancient aqueducts that supplied water to Rome. The same aqueduct supplies water to the fountains in Piazza Navona.
The Goths destroyed the original fountain on the site. A simple basin was installed in the 15th century. In 1629 Pope UrbanVII asked sculptor Bernini to design something better. The pope died before construction began and the plans were shelved.
Nicola Salvi was eventually commissioned to come up with a design and the present fountain was begun in 1732 and finished in 1792, with Bernini’s designs incorporated in the finished work. It is considered one of the most beautiful fountains in the world.
The fountain has been helped in its fame by several films, including Three Coins in the Fountain (1954), La Dolce Vita (1960) and Roman Holiday(1953).
The original legend of the coins says that if you throw a coin into the Trevi – with your back to the fountain, with your right hand over your left shoulder – you will be assured of a return to Rome.
€3,000 are collected every day from the fountain and the money helps to subsidise a supermarket for some of Rome’s less affluent residents and goes to the Red Cross and other charities.
The Spanish Steps were fenced off when I was in Rome. It was amazing to see them empty.
The lovely fountain at the base of the steps, La Barca, has been restored and is once again open to the public.
I look forward to returning to Rome to see the fountain looking brand new…that coin I threw over my shoulder back in 1973 must have worked. I have visited Rome many times.