This is What Dreams are Made of

We dream of travel; travel that will personify the places we have seen and heard about throughout our lives.   Postcards and videos make unattainable places across the world accessible and allow us to cultivate our drive for traveling. A movie is the reason I viewed the Trevi fountain as iconic. Over 2,000 fountains flow throughout the city of Rome so why is the Trevi so special?  The Trevi is featured in films such as La Dolce Vita, Roman Holiday, Three Coins in the Fountain, and of course the Lizzie McGuire Movie. I vividly remember watching Lizzie toss the silver coin over her shoulder, it sparkles through the air, and land in the blue flowing waters of the Trevi. I knew right then, at four years old, that I wanted to see the Trevi for myself, a movie would not suffice.

Towering at 85 feet tall and stretching 65 feet wide, the size of the fountain gives it an overwhelming presence, especially when standing at the base before tossing your coin in. It is stationed at the end of the Aqua Virgo Aqueduct at the junction of three roads, which leads to its name. It is difficult to grasp how much water flows through the Trevi every day, which is why it was a major advancement for the Romans to recently decide the water should be recycled. This means that the Trevi is no longer considered one of the many drinking fountains in Rome, but there are smaller fountains of the grounds of the Trevi that can be used for drinking.

 

Visitors toss an estimated $1.26 million into the fountain per year. The money is collected and cleaned by a local non-profit who uses it for various projects to benefit the needy. Coins are collected three times a week; Monday, Wednesday, and Friday between the hours of 8am-9am. As much as I have raved about the Trevi, the magic of it is lessened when there is no water to toss a coin into.

The Trevi will be packed. Regardless of the time of day or the weather, you can expect to have no breathing room for yourself, but do not let that stop you. Enter in with a patient attitude and take a second to process what is in front of you. Do not let the crowd rain on your Trevi Fountain parade.  At 4 years old I fell asleep, snuggled in my Lizzie McGuire sleeping bag, dreaming of the day I would see the Trevi Fountain. Today, at 19 I saw the Trevi and all of my Lizzie McGuire dreams came true.

In the center of the Trevi Fountain stands Oceanus, the Greek sea god. He is accompanied by sea horses and tritons who portray the tranquility and roughness of the sea. The designed by Nicola Salvi, a poet a philosopher with no architectural experience. The fountain was closed for an expensive restoration from June 2014 to November 2015, but can now be enjoyed for years to come by the millions of visitors.
2,824,800 cubic feet of water, that is the amount of water spilling out of the Trevi Fountain every day. As one of the oldest water sources in Rome, the Trevi was often used for drinking water. Today the water is recycled which means it can no long be used as a drinking fountain.
Crowds of people flock to the Trevi Fountain every day to view the architecture and make their wish. Many people can be seen taking photos with selfie sticks or just enjoying the view in front of them. You will not find anyone in the photo enjoying gelato or pizza in front of the fountain though because it has been permitted. The workers at the fountain enforce this rule and ask visitors to leave if they bring food onto the lower levels.
A woman climbs just up the steps to a smaller fountain that can be used for drinking water right beside the Trevi. In Italy, water is not something that comes with every meal and is normally not very good out of the tap. For that reason, it is not uncommon to see tourist grabbing a sip from a safe drinking fountain or even a local collecting water to take home for later.
Sarah Sharpe
Writer and Photographer