The Trevi Fountain for Kids
The historic and majestic Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy, is one of the most famous fountains in the world! Our family was fortunate to visit this beautiful site, and our kids loved it as much as we did! In fact, a few years ago, we found ourselves standing at the Trevi Fountain in Rome, with our two boys, making wishes and counting our blessings.
While the hubby and I are happy to wander around streets of unfamiliar cities, our boys are hardly as entertained; so, we are always looking for interesting information that will keep the kids engaged and help them remember what they have seen! If you are headed to Rome, don’t forget to check our page about the Roman Colosseum for kids.
10 facts for Kids
1. The fountains of Italy were built to show the people of Rome where the fresh water supply was located. They used this water for drinking, bathing, and cooking. The people of Rome would bring their buckets to the fountains and collect water to take back to their homes.
Fun Fact: In the 4th century, there were 1352 fountains in the city of Rome. Each fountain was marking a water supply for the people of Rome. You can still see many of these fountains in Rome today, so start counting!
2. The Trevi Fountain construction first started in 1730. Water finally came out of the fountain for the people in 1743, and the fountain was completed in 1762. It took a total of 32 years, from start to finish, to build.
Fun Fact: The Trevi Fountain is big! It stands 86 feet high and 161.3 feet wide, and it spills over 2,824,800 cubic feet of water out of the fountain.
3. Today, the water is recycled, so you cannot drink out of the fountain (like the original Romans); however, if you look closely on the steps of the fountain, there is a pipe. This cast-iron pipe can be used to fill up your water bottle and to drink just like the old Romans did. Find the pipe and fill up your water bottle!
4. So, how did the fountain get its name? Well, there was a very famous Roman goddess, Trivia. She protected the streets of Rome and had three heads so she could see everything going on around her. She would always stand on the street corners where three streets met, and she would watch over the city. There are three streets where the fountain is built – Via De Crocicchis, Via Poli, and Via Delle Muratte. Many believed that the goddess would stand there and protect the streets of Rome; thus the name “Trevi Fountain.”
5. In the middle you will see a big statue of a god. Can you guess who this is? Many people say it is Neptune (“Poseidon” in Greek), but they are wrong; the statue is actually of the god “Ocean.” Neptune always had a three-pronged spear with him and is normally followed by a dolphin. Ocean has a short wand in his hand and is surrounded by two horses, not dolphins.
Fun Fact: Pope Clemens XII actually held a competition for all architects to decide who would build the Trevi Fountain. Nicola Salvi won the contest and designed the fountain. The Pope picked his design because it was the cheapest to build! Salvi died during construction, and the fountain was finished by Pietro Bracci.
6. In front of Ocean there are two horses. Can you see them? One is very calm, and the other is jumping and looks angry! Does this remind you of the world’s oceans and seas? Ever notice how sometimes the oceans and seas can be very calm and inviting, and other times they can be angry and scary? Well, these two horses are showing you the two different sides of the world’s waters – calm and angry!
7. The horse on the right of Ocean has a rider who is blowing into a seashell. He is a Triton and is half man, half merman. He is also the son of Neptune. He has the conch shell, and by blowing into the shell he can raise the world’s water into waves or lower them to be calm.
8. Look to the left of Ocean behind the angry horse – you can see a statue. Her name is Goddess Abundance and she is carrying a cornucopia (a basket shaped like a horn). This is a symbol of abundance, and the basket is always filled with fruits and vegetables which is a sign of always having food or wealth! She is put there to make sure that the people of Rome always have an abundance of food.
9. To the right of Ocean is another statue, the Goddess of Health, and her name is Sirona. If you look closely, she has a large snake that is eating out of a bowl. She was placed above the fountain to promote hygiene and cleanliness among the Roman people. Can you see her and her snake? The Romans thought that snakes were the symbol of health because they shed their skin. By shedding their skin, they were showing renewed health and healing. Often you will see snakes as a symbol around Rome!
Fun Fact: Does this symbol look familiar to you? Well, it should because it is still used by all pharmacies and doctors today. It comes from Sirona and her father showing the snake and promoting good health! Can you see the two snakes? I’m sure none of your friends know that! Don’t forget to wash your hands and stay healthy!
10. There are many different plants on the fountain and one big bunch of grapes. Can you find them? You will see grapes all over Rome as well because the Romans believed that grapes were a sign of great vitality. They also thought that drinking wine everyday was a must, and I must say, “When in Rome, do as the Romans!” So have some grape juice and a glass of wine and say “Salute” (Italian for “health.”)
Now that you are starving, get something to eat and check out our tips on how to dine out in Italy.
Before you leave the Trevi Fountain
Last thing you have to do is throw a coin into the fountain! If you do it means you will return to Rome one day! You must stand with your back to the fountain and throw the coin over your left shoulder. Look around; everyone is doing it! The story comes from soldiers who were leaving for war. They would always take a coin and throw it into the rivers of Rome as a payment to the gods. This payment would ensure a safe return home from battle and to Rome. So, get your coin and throw it in the fountain! Once you do, you can be assured you will one day return to Rome!
When to see the Trevi Fountain
If the Trevi Fountain is super crowded, go at night! There are not as many people, and the fountain is all lit up and beautiful. You can still find all the items on our list and will not have to fight the crowds!
What else can I help you with in Rome?
Hotel in Rome?
Our favorite place to stay is the “Rome All In Apartments.” They have multiple apartments that are family friendly with full kitchens and walking distance to all the major sights in Rome! You can Check prices here.
Need a Flight to Rome?
Do you need a car rental in Rome?
Langauge in Rome
Tours and things to do in Rome
The best way to get around Rome is the Hop on Hop off Bus! Click here for tickets
I hope you have a great time at the Trevi Fountain. Stay tuned for more of our travel stories about Rome and around the world! Do you have any questions? Or Can I help you with anything else? Please drop us a comment below!
This is a part of #SundayTraveler, so read up and visit all the stories with #SundayTraveler and our friends over at “Chasing The Donkey” and “Frank About Croatia.”
This post is part of the Sunday Traveler (#SundayTraveler).