One of the most well known fountains in Rome is the Trevi fountain. The name is due to its location as this spot was where three roads interconnected, so tre vie. This fountain marked the endpoint of the Virgo aqueduct, which brought water from 20 km away to the city. It was traditional to have an elaborate fountain at the end of aqueducts.
The Trevi fountain was not the first fountain at this spot though it was a replacement as a pope decided that the current fountain was not elaborate enough. At the time design competitions were quite famous and one was held for the design of the Trevi fountain. Nicola Salvi won the competition and his new fountain was constructed though he died a year before its completion in 1762.
Behind the fountain is the Palazzo Poll and the main theme of the fountain is taming the water. In the center there is a triumphal arch that frames Oceanus. Next to Oceanus is Abundance spilling water from her urn and Salubrity holding up a cup for a snake to drink. The horses and the tritons are used to provide symmetry and contrast against the poses and moods, something typical form the Baroque period. The horses show the different moods of the sea as some are calm and another is restive. Above the fountain you can see bas-reliefs of how the aqueduct was built.
Under these figures there are four horses that represent the different moods of the ocean. These horses and the tritons are used for contrast and symmetry in the sculpture. Above the fountain on the back of the Palazzo are several bas-reliefs that depict Agrippa building the aqueduct.
This fountain has been used in many different things as there was a famous scene from the move La dolce Vita by Frederico Fellini. It is also featured in the Fontane di Roma by Respighi. A section of the fountain has been recreated in Epcot found in Walt Disney World.
The crowds around the Trevi fountain are always present, specifically in the summer and it is not easy to get a photo that does not contain at least one person’s head. The area is the least crowded first thing in the morning and you can enjoy a cup of coffee and look at the fountain from the nearby hotels and cafes.
While you can visit the fountain at any time of the day the least crowded is first thing in the morning. Everyone stops at the fountain and most times you will have to navigate around large tours. There are many cafes and restaurants nearby and if you have the time see the fountain at night as well as it is all lit up.