You can’t talk about Rome without mentioning its fountains. Rome’s history was always linked to water. Since ancient times, Rome built aqueducts to bring fresh water to the fountains of the city. It allowed the city to live and grow and the Romans celebrated life and victories with the best symbol, water fountains. Romans were also the first to have public baths and to invent the concept of SPA (Sanitas Per Aquam‘ in latin).
Here are a few of Rome’s fountains:
Fontana di Trevi
The most famous fountain in Rome and beyond, Fontana di Trevi has become one of the symbols of the Eternal City.
The Baroque fountain is the work of Nicola Salvi. Fontana di Trevi takes its name from the three streets leading to the Piazza (‘tre vie’ means three streets in Italian). It’s charm is now diminished by the thousands of tourists present there all day. For a good photo and a lasting memory, I recommend going to the Trevi fountain very early in the morning.
The Four Rivers Fountain
The central fountain in Piazza Navona is a Gian Lorenzo Bernini masterpiece representing four main rivers of the world. Each marble giant is one of them: the Nile, the Ganges, the Danube and Rio de la Plata. At the center of the composition is an one of the many Egyptian obelisks in Rome. Take a few moments to admire this fountain and its amazing details.
Fountain of Neptune and Fountain of the Moor
Another water fountain in Piazza Navona is dedicated to the God of the Sea, Neptune. Piazza Navona was built where the ancient Stadium of Domitian stood centuries ago. It retained the long and rectangular shape of the old Stadium. It is now one of the most beautiful piazzas in Rome and it is decorated with three water fountains: the Four Rivers Fountain at the center of the square, the Fountain of Neptune and the Fountain of the Moor at the northern and southern ends of the square.
Fontana della Barcaccia
As you get to the base of the Spanish Steps, you may overlook the fountain in the square. Don’t! The Baroque fountain is the work of another Pietro Bernini, the father of more famous Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Also, La Barcaccia has a story of its own, it was inspired by a boat found in the square after a terrible flood of the Tiber in the 16th century.
Fontana delle Tartarughe
A bit off the main tourist path, The Turtles Fountain lies in Piazza Mattei, at the heart of the Jewish Ghetto.
Take the opportunity to visit this unspoiled part of the city and admire the Theater of Marcellus close by. This is also a very good area for lunch or dinner as it is full of good restaurants.
The thing is, Rome has more than 2000 fountains of all shapes and sizes that you can find roughly in every piazza. Don’t ignore the “Nasoni” that you can find everywhere. The name means ‘big noses’ and they are very conveniently placed at virtually every corner. Moreover, the water is clean and fresh and you can safely fill your bottle everywhere around the city.
To sum up, Rome is a city of water fountains and many of them deserve your eye and a few photos.