Rome is an exquisite city that for centuries has continued to inspire people with its beauty. As you walk through the narrow cobblestone streets at the centre that open onto charming piazzas, you are sure to lay your eyes on some of Rome’s most beautiful fountains.
Throughout the city’s history, the Romans have been enthusiasts of decorating public spaces with fountains that amplify Rome’s beauty. Many of these fountains are built by famous architects and adorn intricately built sculptures that leave their visitors wide-eyed with admiration.
In this article, we take you through some of Rome’s most beautiful fountains that are renowned around the world for their beauty. While the list is not exhaustive, visiting these fountains should definitely be on your to-do list if you want to experience Rome’s exquisite beauty.
Apart from being known as one of the largest and Rome’s most beautiful fountains, the Trevi fountain is internationally renowned for the emotive cinematographic scene between Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita.
Located in the Trevi district at Rome’s centre, it was designed by the architect Nicola Salvi in the 18th century. This famous Baroque fountain features a statue of Oceanus at the centre whose chariot is pulled by two seahorses., one wild and the other docile, representing the moods of the sea. The horses are led by two Tritons, one of whom holds a shell to announce Oceanus’ passage.
On the left of the triumphal arch above the statue of Oceanus is the statue of Abundance and on the right is the statue of Health. While these are the architectural highlights of one of Rome’s most beautiful fountains, there are several other architectural details for you to discover that are connected to the area’s history.
On your visit to the fountain, don’t forget to make a wish and throw a coin into it. According to tradition, those who throw a coin into the fountain definitely return to Rome!
→ Experience our unique La Dolce Vita Stroll at the centre of Rome!
Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi
When you visit the famous Piazza Navona, it is impossible to turn your gaze away from the imposing Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi at the centre of the square. Designed by the famous Gian Lorenzo Bernini in the 17th century, the fountain has become a famous symbol of the Baroque era.
As with many other of Rome’s fountains, the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi features sculptures that are full of symbolic representations. At the four corners of the fountain are four nude statues, each representing a river from a different continent, the Danube representing Europe, the Ganges representing Asia, the Nile representing Africa and the Río de la Plata representing America. At the centre of the fountain is an Egyptian obelisk brought to Rome during the reign of Domitian.
The intricate and lifelike sculptures of the fountain definitely place it on the top of the list of one of Rome’s most beautiful fountains. When you visit the fountain, keep an eye out for other symbols, such as the various animals representing each continent.
→ Explore Piazza Navona and its gems in a unique way with our Private Angels and Demons Tour!
Fontana della Tartarughe
While the Fontana delle Tartarughe, or Fountain of the Turtles, is not as famous as the previously mentioned fountains, it is definitely as unique and charming. Located in the Sant’Angelo district, the fountain was designed in the 16th century by Giacomo della Porta and constructed by sculptor Taddeo Landini.
The fountain gets its name from the sculptures of the little turtles that decorate the basin. The most evident feature of the fountain is the bronze statues of the ephebes around the central basin. The ephebes have one arm outstretched towards the basin while the other hand holds the tail of a dolphin on which they have also placed a foot.
The Fontana delle Tartarughe is one of Rome’s most beautiful fountains, beloved by locals and tourists alike. It is definitely worth visiting while you explore the charming Jewish Ghetto as it is located only a few steps away from the Ghetto.
An interesting fact to know about the fountain is that the little turtles were not part of the original design and are attributed to Bernini. However, the turtles that we see today are replicas of the original that are kept in the Capitoline Museums after one was stolen in 1979!
→ To explore Rome from a Jewish perspective, take our Jewish Ghetto, Synagogue and Museum Tour!
Fontana dell’Acqua Paola
One of Rome’s most beautiful fountains, located off the beaten path and outside the centre is the Fontana dell’Acqua Paola or the Fountain of the Janiculum Hill. Located on the Janiculum Hill which provides a beautiful panoramic view of Rome, the fountain was designed in the 17th century by Giovanni Fontana and Flaminio Ponzio.
Several parts of this Baroque masterpiece were constructed using marble from the nearby ruins of the temple of Minerva. The large granite columns seen in the front were taken from the old St. Peter’s Basilica which was built by Emperor Constantine.
When you visit the fountain, notice the many symbols of the Borghese family such as the dragon and the eagle. An interesting fact that most don’t know about the Fontana dell’Acqua Paola is that its design acted as an inspiration for the design of the Trevi fountain!
→ Go off the beaten path and explore Rome outside the city centre with our Secret Rome Tour!
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