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Our plan on leaving the Pantheon was to visit the St. Ignatius Church, but we found it to practice a midday closure, so we continued eastward to the famous Trevi Fountain.

Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain (named for the three roads, tre vie, that meet here) is located at the spot where an aqueduct from nearby mountains ended in ancient Rome.  According to legend, a Roman virgin helped locate the source of this water in 19 B.C.

A Virgin with a Talent

Agrippa Submits the Project to Augustus

Aqueducts were very important in ancient Rome, as the only other source of water was the Tiber River, which was widely used as a sewer.  The aqueduct originally ended at the Baths of Agrippa, which are now gone.

In 1730, Pope Clement XII organized a competition to design a fountain for this location.

Commemoration of Clement XII's Patronage

The contest was won by a Florentine, but public outcry caused the award to go to the second-place finisher instead, a Roman named Nicola Salvi.  The fountain wasn’t completed until 1762, with Salvi dying halfway through its construction.  The work was taken over by Giuseppe Pannini, who replaced planned statuary (originally ancient Roman imagery) with oceanic allegory representing the taming of the waters.  A central figure of Oceanus is flanked by sculptures representing Abundance and Salubrity.  Oceanus is riding in a shell chariot drawn by hippocamps (sort of mer-horses) being tamed by Tritons.


Triton Taming a Hippocamp

The whole scene is stuck to the back of the Palazzo Poli, home to an important collection of copper engraving plates.

Fountain and Crowd
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Taking Pictures, Fountain Details
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Bob and Fountain

Fountain with Cascade
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Cascade and Statuary Details
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There is a legend that throwing a coin into the fountain guarantees that you’ll someday return to Rome.  There are also other legends that you’ll receive other benefits (mainly romantic) by throwing in different combinations of coins in different ways.  We threw in a few Euro cents each – it remains to be seen what that will buy us.  About 3,000 Euros are thrown into the fountain each day, which end up being used to help the needy.

From the fountain we turned south, in search of an ornate church we’d heard about, the Gesł Church.

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