My Favourite Rome Fountains

A couple of the most famous and marvelous water monumets and some small hidden gems you will find in the Ethernal City

Rome’s connection with water and fountains has deep roots, in fact, the Ancient Romans have proven to be great engineers, they built important aqueducts (the one in Segovia is part of the World Heritage List and it is an authentic piece of art more than just an engineering work) as well as famous thermal baths (like the enormous Caracalla complex in Rome), some of them still in use nowadays.

From the small nasoni to the magnificients monuments there are around 2000 public fountains in the city of Rome, more than any other in the world, and some of them are truly magnificent, here you will find some of my favourites.

The iconic Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain, rome, Italy.

A must to see touristic site, this masterpiece built by Nicola Salvi around the middle of 18th Century has been recently renovated (2015) and today it shows itself in all its glory, enhanced even more during the night thanks to an accurate latest generation LED lighting able to bring out the magnificence and complexity of what undoubtedly can be defined as the most majestic fountain of classical era in Rome and probably in the whole world. The water of this fountain is supplied by the Aqua Virgo, one the oldest Roman acqueducts and the main protagonist is Oceanus, the biggest statue representing a primordial god of the sea.

In the modern era it has been exalted and made the protagonist of a memorable scene from the 1960 evocative movie La Dolce Vita by Federico Fellini where Anita Ekberg is taking a bath inside the main pool and invites Marcello Mastroianni to do the same… a very romantic scene <3 that can only happen in a movie because it is totally forbidden to even put just your hand inside it!

On the contrary, what is allowed, is to throw some coins in the pool having the fountain behind you. It is good thing to do indeed, a small gesture that brings good luck for those who want to return to Rome and also do a small work of charity, all the coins are collected weekly and donated to Caritas, one of the main charity fund based in Rome.

Tourist couple tossing a coin in the Trevi fountain

Fountain of the Four Rivers

fragment of Fountain of the Four Rivers on piazza Navona, Rome, Italy

The Navona square is one of the most famous in Rome and this thanks also to the presence of the Fountain of the Four Rivers representing the most important rivers (almost) discovered at the time, the end of the 17th century: the Nile (its source wasn’t discovered at the time and this is why the statue has his face covered), the Rio de la Plata, the Danube, and the Ganges. A synecdoche for the four parts of the known world at that time, that is not oriented according to the four cardinal points but to the intermediate ones.

The Nasoni or Fontanelle

Fontanelle is Italian for small fountains and Nasone is for big nose, and if you see the photo you will easily understand why are called in this way. Rome is plenty of fontanelle, fresh and mineral water available at any moment all around the city, not only in the historic center. There is also an app called Waidy to find the closest to you and refill your water bottle and so reduce the plastic waste.