Sunday, October 6, 2013

Rome Holidays - 4 Trevi Fountain

After Spanish Steps, we again followed the flow of tourists, walking through the winding small alleys of Rome, and at an expected moment, the wishing well of the world, the famous Trevi Fountain appeared.

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain was made famous in the 1953 movie of Roman Holidays.  It has become a kind of 'holy' place that every visitor to Rome must visit, otherwise you can't say you have been to Rome.  

Everybody comes here, but nobody seems to care to understand better about this fountain.  The location of this fountain in ancient times was the terminal point for three different man-made waterways created by the Romans to bring water supply to the city.  Behind the beautiful facade, it is the Poli Palace, a building that has its own day to day functions.  

Now, let me explain to you the scene at the Trevi Fountain.  

The grand theme of the fountain is  Taming of the Waters.  The main character here is mark #1, his name is Ocean, or Oceanus.  He is the ancient Greek & Roman god for water.  Well, you know, the Greek & Roman deities are quite complicated, their stories can fill piles of books, so I will not go into details of his story, what you need to know is that he is a god for water.

Oceanus standing on his shell chariot, mark #2 in the picture above.  Oceanus is being guided by the handsome young man called Triton (mark #3), which is the messenger of the sea, a Greek god too.  Oceanus and Tritons are taming the hippocamp (mark #4).

On the two sides of Oceanus stands two goddess, one is called Abundance, the other is Health.  I think humans, old and new, have similar thinking.  Abundance & Health are two most precious qualities for a human.  

The fountain is designed in Baroque style.  How do you tell?  Do you see that dome behind Oceanus, that is a very typical Baroque style of architecture.  

When you are at Trevi Fountain, how can you not throw a coin into the fountain to ensure you will return to Rome one day?  

Trevi Fountain is confined is a relative small space, surrounded by buildings on all four sides.  It gets crowded easily, so you should plan your visit carefully.  In general, summer months are high seasons.

Nearby at Piazza Colonna (which means Column Square), it stands Emperor Marcus Aurelius' victory column.  

Column of Marcus Aurelius

The column is about 30 meters high, and it is covered from base to top spiral relief, telling the victory story of Emperor Marcus Aurelius.  

Details of Column of Marcus Aurelius

Look at the delicate details of the bas relief.  Human figures are so vivid.  I don't know whether Emperor Marcus Aurelius really had such great victory, but the craft men who created this bas relief are definitely masters of their trade.  

Ok, enough for one blog post.  Stay tuned for more...

You can find all my Rome Holidays blog posts here.  

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