“There is a Legend about the Trevi Fountain” – Erica Kuestersteffen

Erica Kuestersteffen, a student on the CIMBA semester program in Italy, has shared another blog posts below:


People say that if you throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain (from your right hand over your left shoulder) you will return to Rome. This ritual has become so wide spread that thousands of tourists throw a coin into the fountain every day, counting up to 3,000 euros a day. This money is actually used to help Rome’s needy, a worthy cause taken from e hopeful dream by tourists. (1)

During my second trip through Rome there was a lot more interest, on my part, about the Trevi Fountain. A month ago during the first trip it felt like the place was passed over in the rush to see and do everything in a short amount of time but this was the chance to really experience something deeper.

The Trevi Fountain was originally the end of a great aqueduct in Rome. During the 4th century there were some 1352 aqueducts in Rome to bring water to the citizens from the Ager Locullanus. It was in the early renaissance that the popes began decorating these fountains and the Trevi Fountain came to life.

It is incredible to think about this structure being created at the end of an aqueduct that served the city. In many ideals and religions water symbolizes life and health and these two figures do play a prominent role in the Trevi Fountain. This was one of the sources of life for people before and during the renaissance and that is simply beautiful. It shows the creativeness and resilience of a city that finally discovered how to manipulate and bring water to the source of their needs. It was an innovation that changed the way people lived.

The Trevi Fountain became more than that though. The creation of the fountain did not leave off anything. This fountain is not only one of the most beautiful pieces of art in Rome but it symbolizes the importance of the aqueduct and the reason for the flow of water.

Within this piece of art the figure of Ocean is there with his two horses to symbolize the violent strength and the tranquility of water. This is probably my favorite aspect of the fountain because it does seem that people can easily forget the important of water in life and the strength it holds. The strength and power of a sea or ocean can do indescribable damage but it can also be the most peaceful location in the world and sit completely untouched. Health and Abundance flank Ocean to further show the importance of water.

The aspect of this statue that is the most amazing, however, is when I think about the very structure and creation of it. There is nothing like this being built now and no piece of art that is made can compare to the beauty of the Trevi Fountain.

This awestruck feeling extends to more than this fountain. The coliseum may not be as beautiful as the fountain but the size and magnitude of the arena is above anything I could dream of. The Sistine Chapel, The Roman Forum, St. Pete’s Basilica, Venice, the Florence Duomo, The Tower of London, etc. I could go on about places that I’ve traveled to during the past three months and feel the same awe that I do about the Trevi Fountain.

It is one of the biggest frustrations I hear from people. ‘They just don’t make em like they used.’ ‘They don’t make things to last anymore.’ I’m not completely sure who ‘they’ are but it’s almost necessary to go back before anyone can remember, before America was even created. No one makes buildings or basilicas or fountains like they used to. It’s difficult to imagine a football stadium standing in hundreds or thousands of years. The history of the Trevi Fountain and landmarks like it are in a class of their own. Nowadays all we can do is visit what we can and throw some coins. One to return, one for love and one for marriage. Oh, if the ancient romans could see us now.