The fountain of lovers

Trevi Fountain is the most famous in Rome. But few people know that on the right side outside the fountain there is a rectangular basin with two small tubes, much less known but much more romantic: the fountain of lovers.

On the right side of the famous Trevi fountain is the so-called fountain of lovers. It consists of a rectangular basin very simple and without special decorations. The name of this small source is born from the ancient tradition according to which the engaged couples who drink in a couple the water that flows from the two small spouts will be reciprocally in love and faithful. In the past, before a separation for travel or otherwise, the girlfriend filled a new glass with this water and offered it to her boyfriend. Then he broke the glass, and this guaranteed the loyalty of those who left.




Near the most famous fountain in the world, Fontana di Trevi, there is a small fountain that the architect Nicola Salvi created next to the monumental exhibition to give the passers-by to quench their thirst, is known as the Fountain of the Lovers.

The fountain owes its name to the legend according to which the Roman girls, when the lover had to leave to be a soldier to be sure that he would come back to them, had a little ritual: they were accompanied to drink the water of Trevi, yes they wore new glasses, they dropped two happy jets from the fountain on the right of the great fountain, they drank together the Virgin water and then broke the glasses so their love would last forever.


When the architect Salvi designed the fontanelle, he worried that it would be easy to reach it because that simple fountain had a precise purpose; in fact if the Fontana di Trevi, despite being the monumental exhibition of the Virgin water, was at the same time the terminal castle of the Acqua Vergine aqueduct – the one built by Marco Vipsanio Agrippa in the first century. B.C. to feed his baths and give water to the Regio Via Lata – which Pope Clement XII had reactivated and expanded to bring water to the Campus Martius.


In the seventeenth century the water came only in the homes of aristocratic families, in the monasteries, where it was necessary for production activities and in any case an annual fee had to be paid based on the capacity of the “fistula” (or torch).

For the populace the drinking water was available in the fountains and drinking fountains and there the women went to get water with the pitchers; just to give the people of Rome the opportunity to get water, the architect Nicola Salvi built the fountain with the two jets that cross, while the pool that collects water could also be part of the fountain that was in the same place before the monumental exhibition was built.



It is worthwhile to make a brief reflection on the particularity of the two jets that cross each other and from which the legend of lovers has sprung; Surely Salvi could simply make a single torch descend but perhaps he wanted to give the fountain, though very simple, a symbolic value: he decided to get the water down from two torches that made it jump in the tank, crossing at the end of the fall.

In the Christian symbolism, the doves who drink together in the stone chalice represent the soul and through translation the inner emotions and the higher feelings such as love that can never end.



It is said that couples who drink at this fountain will remain in love and faithful forever.

A simple ritual that, in the past, took place at the departure of the boyfriend, especially when the distance, as during military service, was prolonged over time.

The evening before the farewell the two young men went to the fountain; the girl filled a glass she had never used before and offered it to her lover. The glass had to be broken.

In this way, the girl was sure not to lose her loved one.

An explanation: according to tradition, those who sipped the water of Trevi remembering Rome forever would have also continued to remember the enamored remained in the city.



How to get there

The fountain of lovers can be easily reached by metro and a short walk (Line A – Stop Spagna).