The Trevi Fountain in Rome: all you need to know. How to visit + fun facts

by marta

Rome’s Trevi Fountain: Facts, curiosities and tips for visiting the Trevi Fountain, Rome.

The Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi) is the most famous fountain in Rome and one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city.

It stars in photos and movies set in Rome and it is one of the most popular Rome monuments visitors seek out in Rome.

Trevi Fountain on sunny day

On a standard year, it attracts over 1000 visitors per hour and it features in all walking itineraries of Rome center, including our own.

The Trevi fountain is a baroque masterpiece and it is famous for its beauty, size and fascinating and fun legends attached to it.

I always like to pass by the Trevi Fountain and I have brought my children here several times, as there is always something fun to teach them about the fountain and throwing a coin into it seems to never get old, as a quick and fun thing to do here!

However, in the last few years, I had to change the way I experience this incredible landmark.

While, in the past, we could just walk here and enjoy it, the crowds have now become so excessive, in many cases we regretted our choice.

If you want to see what over-tourism looks like, come to the Trevi fountain in the middle of the day or at weekends: it is not a pretty sight!

However, there are sustainable and pleasant ways to see it! You just need to know when to go and what to expect, which is what this article is about!

This is all you ever wanted to know about the Trevi fountain, Rome, and my tips for visiting.

Please note: this post contains affiliate links. Should you make a purchase through them, we might make a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

Need to know! Entering the fountain is strictly prohibited at all times.

Fontana di Trevi Rome – Trevi Fountain Facts chart

This chart has information about the Trevi Fountain as we see it now.

AddressPiazza di Trevi (Palazzo Poli side), 00187 Rome
Year of Construction1732
Material usedTravertine
Name of ArchitectMr Nicola Salvi, then Mr Giuseppe Pannini
Name of ClientPope Clemens XII Corsini
Aqueduct serving itAqua Virgo
Size26 mt x 20 mt

Trevi Fountain visitors’ guide

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Image of Rome Trevi fountain with overlay text: Rome must see, trevi fountains, all you ned to know + tips for visiting this unmissable Rome sight

How to visit the Trevi Fountain in Rome

You can visit the Trevi Fountain in your own time, without a tour and without purchasing tickets.

The Fountain overlooks pretty and central Piazza di Trevi, a small square in Rome city center: you can enter the square any time, for free!

The best way to visit Fontana di Trevi is on foot: the area surrounding it is closed to traffic and very pretty, perfect for a leisurely walk around Rome.

Where is the Trevi fountain and how to get there

The Trevi fountain is in Rome city center, in Piazza di Trevi, close to Quirinale and Piazza Venezia.

It is in a part of Rome called Trevi District, in Rome’s Rione II.

Narrow, historical cobbled streets characterise this area: Via del Tritone on one side and Quirinale Hill on the other acts as its boundaries.

The square is closed to traffic and only accessible on foot.

Buses stopping near the Trevi fountain are 60, 63, 80, all the buses serving Piazza San Silvestro and those arriving at Piazza Venezia (a short walk from the fountain)

The closest metro is Barberini

The fountain is a city landmark and, as such, free to visit. It is one of those monuments that make Rome special.

You take a stroll around the city center and suddenly, you find yourself in front of it, its presence only heralded by the sound of its cascading water!

The fountain is a marvel and its sudden appearance in a small square hidden in meandering small alleys make it an even more unforgettable sight.

Photo of the Trevi Fountain in summer with crowds on the far end of the  photo frame
Photo of the Trevi Fountain in Rome I took in summer. Notice the crowds in the far end of the photo

The best time to see the Trevi Fountain

You can visit the Trevi Fountain any time: access is free and you simply stumble upon it as you walk around the area.

However, if you can time your visit to avoid the most intense crowds, I highly recommend you do!

Fontana di Trevi is a top-rated attraction and attracts numbers of people that are simply excessive for the square that houses it.

If you come during the central hours of the day, you have a high chance of hardly being able to see the fountain at all: you will, as it massive, but it will be behind a wall of people and you won’t be able to admire how splendid and elaborate it is, let alone take a good photo.

The best time to see the Trevi Fountain is the early morning (before 9 am).

In the past, it was also possible to enjoy it in the evening but this has become less and less the case: while after dark is better than the afternoon, the early morning is by far the best time to visit.

Morning and late evening are beautiful and romantic times to see the fountain and it is when you may even come across a proposal! If you can have it all for yourself, Fontana di Trevi is one of the best places to propose in Rome!

Trevi Fountain Rome at night

Tours of the Trevi Fuontain

You do not need a tour to enjoy the Trevi Fountain.

However, since it is one of the main attractions in Rome, many tours include it.

Some you may want to consider are:

Trevi Fountain Tour – perfect if you are curious about the fountain and want more than just a photo op!

Walking Tour of Rome (evening) – a good way to see the Fountain and many other Rome highlights with the aid of a guide, during the quietest hours of the day

Good to know: the excellent Mariaclaudia Tour for kids in Rome city center starts from here and includes the foutain!

Visiting the Trevi Fountain with kids

Visiting the Trevi Fountain with kids is easy and doesn’t require much planning.

The main things to keep in mind as a parent are:

  • You cannot enter the water. This applies to little kids as well as adults and includes not dangling of small feet etc.
  • While Piazza di Trevi is stroller friendly, the fountain itself is not so you’ll need to take turns to get close to it as there are steps
  • The driving part of the fountain is on the right of the main basin, a few steps down from street level
  • Due to the huge amount of crowds, if visiting at a busy time it is paramount to hold hands or it is very easy to lose sight of a small child.
  • Children will want to throw a lot of coins in the water! Come prepared with many small coins (cents work well) as there are no machines changing bills into coins here.

History of the Trevi Fountain

The Trevi fountain assumed the appearance we know today in the XVIII century.

However, it has a much longer history, that starts all the way back during Roma times.

The water freely flowing on the fountain comes from the Aqua Virgo aqueduct, a Roman aqueduct dating back to 19BC and that also brings water to another important fountain int Rome: La Barcaccia at the Spanish Steps.

The Aqua Virgo aqueduct was built by order of Marco Agrippa and was used to bring water to the city and the thermal baths of Neptune, which were among the first in the city. 

It is the only Roman aqueducts still functioning today and it used to stretch for over 14,105 Roman miles, the equivalent of about 20 km.

Most of it was underground, but would reach the surface in Campo Marzio, once inside the city limits.

Its name (Virgo = Virgin) seems to come from the purity of its waters; however, there is a legend that says a young virgin showed the location of its source to soldiers looking for respite after a long mark and attributed the name to her.

Agrippa’s fountain has three basins and survived in that form until 1453, when Pope Niccolo V tasked Leon Battista Alberti with the redesign the fountain to have only one main water basin.

In 1629 things changes again.

Pope Urban VIII commissioned the building of a monumental fountain to Bernini who had already been active in Rome with a staggering number of sculptures and architectural solutions for several parts of the city.

Bernini’s plan was deemed too expensive and never started.

It took until 1732 for the project to be considered again.

On that year, Pope Clemens XII called for a competition for the design and built of the fountain and the winner was architect Nicola Salvi.

Salvi started the works and Giuseppe Pannini eventually completed them.

The inauguration of the Trevi fountain happened on the 22 May 1762. 

The fountain is 26.3 metres high and 49.15 metres wide and is made of travertine, a stone commonly used in Rome architecture.

Main statues and sculpture on the Trevi fountain

The main  scene decorating the Trevi fountain is the statues of Oceanus, sculpted by Pietro Bracci.

The Roman God appears on a carriage, above a rocky shore, pulled by two winged horses and tritons. 

Close up of sculptures on the Trevi Fountain, evening

The two horses represent the states of the sea, calm and stormy; one of the tritons is blowing into a shell, an act said to be able to calm sea storms.

Beside the God there are Roman Goddess Abundance, in the act of pouring water, source of life,  and Health, in the from of a serpent drinking off a chalice. 

At the top of the fountain stands a statue of the young girl who gave name to the aqueduct, the Pope’s family crest and a representation of the 4 seasons. 

Legends of Fontana di Trevi (old and new!)

The best known and most famous legend about the Trevi fountain has to do with throwing a coin in it.

Legend says that if you throw a coin in the water you will visit Rome again and in some version, they also added if you throw two you will meet the love of your life, if you throw three you will marry the love of your life!

This probably explains why the Trevi Fountain collects over 3K Euro each day (devoted to charity)

Fun fact: there is a technique to throw the coin in the Trevi fountain. You need to give your back to the fountain and throw the coin with your right hand, over your left shoulder!

Another legend is the so called legend of the barber.

Local stories tell of a local barber who used to have shop on the square: annoyed by the noise of the fountain building site, he constantly complained about it the the architect, becoming a bit of a nuisance.

Annoyed, Salvi built a massive vase (so called asso di coppe, beside the fountain) to block the view from his shop. So, when the fountain was finished, he could not see it from his door!

Last but not least, it is worth noticing a small drinking spot to the right of the main fountain one called lovers’ fountain.

This is a small drinking fountain on the side of the main Trevi monumental area.

Legend tells us that it become tradition for young couples to go to the fountain and drink from it before the man would leave for war to ensure his safe return.

Legend tells us that it become tradition for young couples to go to the fountain and drink from it before the man would leave for war to ensure his safe return.

The lovers would drink from the fountain from a never before used glass and then break the glass to ensure a lasting relationship. 

Best hotels near the Trevi Fountain

The area of the Trevi Fountain is central, beautiful and busy.

Staying here means finding yourself in the city’s very center and close to many attractions.

However, it also means you need to deal with lots of people, restaurant noise and a rather touristy more than local atmosphere.

That said, there are some nice hotels and rentals in the area worth considering:

Palazzo Scanderberg – Tucked aways in a quite street a minute walk from the fountain, this is a fantastic Aparthotel perfect for families and couples alike, in an enviable location right in Rome city center.

Relais Trevi 95 – lovely boutique hotel right beside the Fountain, with a beutiful rooftop terrace perfect for the good season

Trevi Fountain 2 Bedroom apartment – lovely family friendly apartment with receptions, perfect if you are looking for a self catering solution in the center of Rome

Good restaurants near Trevi Fountain

The area of the Trevi Fountain is super touristy and finding a good meal here is not always easy.

Places we recommend are:

Il Chianti – traditional Tuscan restaurant with Italian specialties and a nice outdoor patio

Il Piccolo Arancio – small, family friendly restaurant in a quiet street close to the Trevi Fountain

Il Piccolo Buco – one of the best pizza places in Rome if you love fluffy crust, gourmet pizza

Renascent top floor restaurants – La Renascente is a famous department store with some nice restaurants at its top. They include a pizzeria, a Brazilian-Japanese fusion restaurant and a more traditional Italian restaurant and cafe.

La Rinascente is a great option to escape the crowds and, if you have kids, a great place to use their excellent and free restrooms!

Not sure how to include this attraction in your Rome itinerary? Check our Rome itinerary suggestions below:

Rome in a day: detailed Rome city centre itinerary for first time visitors

Rome in two days A detailed itinerary for two full days in Rome

Rome in three daysRome in four days – day-by-day 3 day Rome itinerary

Rome in five days – complete Rome itinerary with main attractions and less usual sites for visitors with more time in the city

Traveling to Rome with kids? Find our family guide to Rome here.

I hope you enjoyed reading about the Trevi Fountain. Safe travels to Rome! 

This article was originally written in 2020 and has now been fully updated (January 2023)

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