10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Trevi Fountain

Last Updated on April 30, 2021


As you wander the streets of Rome nearby the Trevi Fountain, you can hear the water gushing as you get closer, finally revealing an amazing work of art that is so impressive it feels like so much more than just another sculpture. The fountain is a true wonder and this creation of water and stone does not disappoint. It is a great example of Baroque art, showcasing natural, soft lines and incredibly detailed fantasy creatures. You can really feel the emotion within the art.

Located in the Quirinale district of Rome, the Trevi Fountain is known as one of the most stunning fountains in the world, and it is not hard to see why.


It is said that if you throw a coin over your shoulder into the water, you will be sure to return to Rome. Throw in a second coin if you’re seeking love – even a third for wedding bells. We enjoyed taking part in this tradition; it is estimated that at least 3,000 euros in coins are thrown into the fountain every day. While we have yet to return to Rome again, we loved it so much, that we do hope to return. Someday. This tradition also dates back to the ancient Romans who often threw coins in water to make the gods of water favor their journey or help them get back home safely.


No trip to Rome is complete without a visit to the Fontana di Trevi. The Trevi Fountain is located in Trevi Square near the Spanish Steps and Piazza Navona. The Trevi Fountain is open 24 hours a day and is free to all visitors.

The fountain does get quite crowded, so it is best to try to go as early as you can to avoid the extra large crowds of tourists, and to get better photos of your coin throwing experience.

How much do you know about the Trevi fountain? Here are ten interesting facts that you may not have known: 

1. The Trevi Fountain is one of the oldest water sources in Rome: The fountain dates back to ancient Roman times, since the construction of the Aqua Virgo Aqueduct in 19 BC, that provided water to the Roman baths and the fountains of central Rome. The fountain was built at the end point of the aqueduct, at the junction of three roads. These three streets (tre vie) give the Trevi Fountain its name, the Three Street Fountain.

2. The fountain is made from the same material as the Colosseum: The fountain is mostly built from travertine stone, meaning “from the Tiber” in Latin. It is a mineral made of calcium carbonate that is formed from spring waters, especially hot springs.

3. The fountain took 30 years to build: Upon completion in 1762, it replaced a previous less glamorous fountain in its place.

4. The fountain uses a lot of water: Every day the fountain spills 80.000 cubic meter of water (2,824,800 cubic feet).

5. The fountain is charitable: The money is donated to Caritas, a catholic charity, who uses the money to provide services for needy families in Rome.

6. The Traditional Coin toss: You should toss it with your right hand over your left shoulder (or left hand over your right shoulder) with your back to the fountain. You’re not allowed to look behind you while you’re tossing the coin, but the fountain is so large it’s basically impossible for you to miss.

7. It is a crime to steal the coins from the Trevi: Sadly, it is not uncommon for people to try to do so.

8The fountain has become famous on film: Films in which the Trevi Fountain plays a starring role include: Roman Holiday starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck (1953), Three Coins in the Fountain (1954), La Dolce Vita by Federico Fellini starring Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni (1960), Gidget Goes to Rome (1963), The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003) and Elsa and Fred starring Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer (2014).

9. The fountain has also been black and red: In 1996 the fountain was turned off and draped in black crepe to honour actor Marcello Mastroianni after his death. Mastroianni starred in La Dolce Vita, a movie whose most famous scene was filmed in the Trevi Fountain. In 2007, a vandal dumped a liquid substance into the fountain turning the water red. This caused water that fell from the fountain to be red as well, since it uses a closed circuit water system. The water was drained fast enough that there luckily was no damage.

10. Many men were injured and few died during the construction of the fountain. In 1734, a stone-cutter was crushed by a large block of travertine. In 1736, a mason fell from the roof and died. In 1740, an apprentice slipped on the Travertine and passed away after many head lesions.


Have you seen the Trevi Fountain? What were your thoughts?