Rome is known for its stunning architecture and rich history. I like to think that the water fountains in Rome exemplify the best of these traits. If you are planning to visit Rome, or just need a little motivation to do so, this list will direct you to some of the outdoor fountains you cannot miss.
5. Fontana del Babuino
This first fountain may not look impressive, but it has some really cool history behind it. Before we had the internet to leave anonymous criticisms directed at world leaders, the Romans would leave satirical poems attached to it. This fountain and other statues were known as the Talking Fountains of Rome for this reason. If you want to stand where ancient social commentators have stood, then this is a great place to visit. Maybe you will think of some satire of your own while you are there.
4. Fountains of St. Peter’s Square
St. Peter’s square is a breathtaking sight, and this fountain lies at the heart of it. Technically, it is in Vatican City, which is contained within Rome. Although the fountains themselves may not seem too remarkable, they are hundreds of years old. A top-down view of the square would reveal that they are placed at the foci of the ellipse that forms the square. No matter what your views on the Catholic Church might be, this is a place full of history, and definitely a must-visit spot in Rome.
3. Fontana del Tritone (Triton Fountain)
This seventeenth century fountain was commissioned by Pope Urban VIII, and is located in the Piazza Barberini. It depicts Triton, a Greco-Roman sea god, as a merman kneeling on the tailfins of four dolphins. It was constructed in order to distribute water from the recently restored Acqua Felice aqueduct. There is an old Roman legend that anyone who throws a coin into the water while facing away from the fountain will be guaranteed to return to Rome. It couldn’t hurt to also wish for superpowers while you’re at it. Just saying.
2. The Fountains of Piazza Navona
This city square is excellent for admirers of Roman fountains. The center contains the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers), which sits below the grand Obelisk of Domitian. There are also two additional fountains as well. The Fontana del Moro features four Tritons, in case you did not get enough of the old sea god. The Fountain of Neptune features the king of all sea gods and was added to make Piazza Navona more symmetrical. You will also enjoy the significant amount of Baroque Roman architecture while you are there. This is a place with a lot to see and take in, but be warned that it can attract a lot of other tourists as well.
1. The Trevi Fountain
This is the largest Baroque fountain in all of Rome, and it is hard to overstate its grandeur. It took not one, but three popes to complete it. The imagery is both regal and primal. The god Oceanus stands proudly at the center surrounded by the lesser sea gods. The jagged rocks make it seem as though this fountain burst out of the sea itself. It also has some coin-throwing legends attached to it. Throwing a coin is said to guarantee a return to Rome. Approximately 3,000 euros are thrown every day, and the money is used to subsidize a supermarket for the needy. This is an iconic Roman fountain and simply cannot be skipped.