The Trevi Fountain outside the Palazzo Poli is, without doubt, the most famous fountain in the world. Standing 26.3 metres (86 ft) high and 49.15 metres (161.3 ft) wide, it is the largest Baroque fountain in Rome. The fountain was designed by Nicola Salvi in 1732 and work was completed in 1762, although Salvi died in 1751 and never saw his masterpiece completed. Among the central figures is Neptune – God of the Sea, on either side of Neptune are two Tritons one with a wild Sea Horse and the other with a calmer animal, these shiow the contrasting faces of the sea. Arches frame the fountain and the figures and in front of these the waters tumble down over the rocks all of which makes for a wonderful spectacle for the many visitors who come to see this famous work of art which fills the square.
The tradition of throwing a coin into the fountain still continues today and there are around 3,000 Euros thrown into the waters each day, this money is used to stock a supermarket for the needy of the city of Rome. This practice was made famous by the 1954 film “Three coins in a Fountain” and the song of the same name. Legend has it that if a visitor throws a coin into the fountain it will ensure his/her return to Rome.
In 1998 the fountain was refurbushed. Cracks and stone work were repaired by skilled craftsmen. All the stone work was scrubbed clean and new water pumps which recircle the water were fitted.
It was announced in January 2013 that the biggest restoration in the history of the founttain was to take place at a cost of around 2.2 million euro. The 20 month works are sponsored by the Italian fashion company Fendi.
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