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Fontana di Trevi

Trevi Fountain – The Legend of the Ace of Cups

The Trevi Fountain, with its beauty, has enchanted those who visit Rome since its completion by Giuseppe Pannini in 1762. Pannini took over the work begun by Nicola Salvi, the architect who died before the work was completed.
The fountain is located at the exact spot where another fountain, built in Roman times as the hub of the city’s water system, stood before. It was the end point of one of Rome’s oldest aqueducts, the Virgin Aqueduct, which still gushes 120 liters of water per second that is continuously recycled.
At the time it appeared less imposing, with three separate basins where passersby could drink, wash clothes and refresh themselves. Rome was the first city to introduce the idea of public fountains with drinking water. Even today, it is the city with the highest concentration of fountains anywhere in the world. The fountain’s decorations include 30 species of plants, from bunches of grapes, figs, and ivy to reeds and evergreen plants, among which some animals such as snails and lizards peep out. Another interesting aspect concerns Ocean driving the chariot drawn by winged horses in turn driven by tritons. The two horses appear one inert and the other calm because they represent the two states of the sea, agitated and placid.

Looking at the fountain, on the rocks covering the parapet on the left, one finally admires a large ornamental travertine vase that the Romans renamed the “Ace of Cups” because of its shape reminiscent of the symbol of playing cards.Legend has it that instead it represents one of the vessels used by barbers, because at the time of its construction an arrogant barber commented on the work by constantly complaining. So the story goes that Salvi modified the design. He raised the large vessel right in front of his store to block his view of the work.

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