Travelogues

The legend of Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain is one of the largest fountains in the world. Designed in 1570 in Baroque style by Nicola Salvi, it is made of travertine stone. The theme is water. At its centre is Oceanus, the god of waters, holding two horses. The one on his right is the untamed bad horse, suggesting that water can cause destruction. On his left is the good horse which signifies the life giving potential of water. Below you can see Triton blowing a conch .

On one side of the fountain is Abundance- the symbol of plenty- holding fruits and produce. On the other side of the fountain is Salubrity or good health- crowned with wreath of laurel, Apollo’s plant. Apollo was the the father of Aesculapius, god of Medicine. Notice the asp on her side, which you often notice as a symbol of medicine.

The Papal Crest

In the centre is the Papal crest. The two statues flanking it are Fames. In Roman mythology fame is personification of public acclaim and is usually portrayed with a trumpet in her hand. When she has two trumpets, one served to announce fabrications, the other one truths.

The name Trevi comes from ‘Tre vie’ which means three roads. The fountain is located at the intersection of three roads.
This is a shot from my 2016 visit. In November 2015, the fountain had just been reopened for the public after a long restoration by the fashion house Fendi. Here it is sparkling white. Compare with the first photo clicked this year, and the signs of yellowing have started.

There is a funny legend that accompanies Trevi Fountain. It says that if you throw a coin over your shoulder with your right hand you will return to Rome. I did toss a coin here when I last visited in May 2016, and I guess, that story worked! But wait, the story goes on. It says- if you toss two coins, you will find an Italian suitor, and if you throw three coins, you will be married to someone in Rome.

But then my guide Andrea confused me this time. He said if you come here as a couple, throw only one coin. If both of you throw coins, one of you will be engaged to an Italian! Scary thought! So I let Subodh throw the coin this time, while I refrained. What if the legend came true again! Not worth the risk. In any case I’ve seen all that I wanted to in Rome.

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