Saturday, 9 July 2016

Rome, Trevi Fountain and others

Rome, Trevi Fountain ©Solange Hando

Did you know that Rome claims over 2000 fountains, the largest number in any city in the world? Top of the list is the monumental Trevi, one of the capital's best known landmarks featured in films and on postage stamps.

Built of gleaming white stone in the 18th century and set against the Palazzo Poli, it is said to represent the taming of the water brought along the 'Aqua Virgin' aqueduct, named after a young Roman virgin who discovered a life-giving spring 26 km away.

The Barcaccia Fountain in Rome ©Solange Hando

Meanwhile on the Spanish Square, below the famous steps, the boat-shaped Barcaccia fountain recalls the disastrous flood of 1598 when the Tiber brought myriad boats right up to this spot.

It was built in the 17th century by Pietro Bernini and his son and they say that on his death bed, the English poet Keats was soothed by the gentle sound of the water.

Fountain in Villa Borghese Gardens ©Solange Hando

In the vast landscaped gardens of Villa Borghese where the people of Rome love to relax on a hot summer day, water features include lake, pond and fountains.

The Borghese Gallery tucked among the trees displays Italian paintings and sculptures by Bernini, most admired an Apollo and Daphne.

Piazza Navona, Fountain of the Moor ©Solange Hando

On this colourful Baroque square following the contours of the Roman circus, three fountains keep visitors spellbound. Set against an Egyptian obelisk at the centre of the Piazza, you find one of Bernini's most celebrated works, the Fountain of the Four Rivers, Danube, Ganges, Rio de la Plata and Nile which symbolised the continents known at the time.

At the northern end is the Neptune Fountain and to the south the Fountain of the Moor, named after the statue of an African man wrestling with a dolphin. 

The Trevi Fountain by Night ©Solange Hando

But at the end of the day, most visitors head back to the Trevi, the place to linger long after dark, dreaming of the 'Dolce Vita' partly filmed on the spot. But if you'd like to return to Rome one day, be sure to throw in a coin with your back turned to the water. Just waiting to see if it works...

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