largest and most ambitious of the Baroque
fountains of Rome, the Fontana di Trevi
gets its name by being on the juncture
of three roads (tre vie). The fountain
also marks the terminal point of the Aqua
Virgo, one of the ancient aqueducts that
supplied water to Rome. The Aqua Virgo
carried water the shortest distance possible
directly to the Baths of Agrippa and served
Rome for more than four hundred years.
The custom to build a fountain at the
end of an aqueduct was revived in the
15th century, and in 1453 Pope Nicholas
V ordered that the Aqua Virgo (renamed
Aqua Vergine) be rebuilt. In 1730 Pope
Clement XII ordered the then simple basin
to be remade into a vast piece of art,
and by 1762 the huge fountain was completed.
fountain lies in front of the Palazzo
Poli, and it was given a new facade with
a giant order of Corinthian pilasters.
In the center is superimposed a robustly
modelled triumphal arch, and the exedra
framing Neptune has freestanding columns
for maximal light-and-shade. More and
more of these elements were added, until
the fountain became a riot of rockwork,
sculpture, water, foam, and symbolism.
It is said that it is lucky to throw coins
with one's right hand over one's right
shoulder into the Trevi Fountain. Such
an act is done to ensure that the thrower
will return to Rome. Throwing two coins
makes sure that the thrower will fall
in love with a beautiful person of Roman
decent, and throwing three coins is to
encourage that the thrower will marry
that girl/boy in Rome itself.