Rome is on the list of the most visited capital cities in the world, with tens of millions of visitors from all over the world coming to it every year and wanting to get to know the historic city which is known for its heritage sites, beautiful parks, fascinating museums and of course the excellent restaurants.
All these and more make Rome a great destination to visit in any vehicle and throughout the whole year, but not many know that one of the more magical things that Rome has to offer are the multitudes of beautiful fountains scattered throughout the city that tell its fascinating story. These fountains will allow you to learn about the city and its complex past and to be impressed by the European architecture and the design of the great Italian artists.
Which fountains should you visit and which should not be missed? The full list is in front of you!
Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi)
If we had to choose only one fountain, the Trevi Fountain is without a doubt the first choice. This fountain, also known as the traditional “wishing fountain” of Rome, is one of the most popular tourist spots and is one of the most romantic places in Rome and the largest fountain in terms of dimensions compared to the other fountains in the city.
The Trevi Fountain is also considered one of the most beautiful fountains in Rome and was designed by the architect and sculptor Nicola Selvi who chose to glorify the kingdom of the sea and present famous characters from the various mythologies such as Neptune to the sea riding a giant shell that is pulled by tritons and seahorses.
Fountain of the Four Rivers (Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi)
Another popular and interesting fountain is the Fountain of the Four Rivers which is located in the main square of Rome – Piazza Navona and as such it is a focal point of attraction for many visitors every day. Beside this fountain there are two other fountains that are worth visiting, but their presence next to the Four Rivers fountain undoubtedly contributes to enhancing the beauty and uniqueness of this one.
The famous fountain was designed by the architect and artist Bernini, who was considered one of the most famous architects in Rome at the time and was responsible for other magnificent works that became famous. In this work, the sculptures of four men are seen sitting on a rock from which a stream of water flows – four streams in total representing the four main rivers in the world.
Fountain of Neptune (Fontana del Nettuno) and Fountain of the Moors (Fontana del Moro)
These are the other two fountains located next to the Four Rivers Fountain in Piazza Navona and therefore they also attract many visitors every day but are considered the least known and famous, even though the Neptune Fountain was also designed by Bernini. In this fountain, Neptune appears united in his hand with a pitchfork with which he subdues a sea monster.
The Mori Fountain is also dedicated to life in the depths, where a man appears fighting a dolphin (sounds a little less impressive after we talked about Neptune and a terrible monster, but it’s worth a visit). This fountain was built in the 16th century by Giacomo Della Forte and about a hundred years later Bernini created the statue that stands there today.
The Turtle Fountain (Fontana delle Tartarughe)
In one of the small and magical squares of Rome, Matai Square, stands one of the most beautiful and special fountains – the Turtle Fountain which is located in the heart of what used to be the Jewish ghetto of the city and therefore you will find among the visitors there quite a few tourists from the Holy Land.
Similar to the Mori Fountain, the Turtle Fountain was also designed by the architect Giacomo Della Forte, and similarly to the Mori Fountain, it also presents a dolphin, this time four of them are supported by four men who send their hands up and support what used to be additional dolphins, which were later replaced by turtles (designed by Bernini … there seems to be a recurring motif here).
The Ship Fountain (Fontana della Barcaccia)
Also known as the “Old Ship Fountain” – it is a fountain from the Baroque period and has many elements typical of that period and is famous, among other things, for its attractive location right next to the Spanish Steps, which are considered one of the main and most famous tourist centers in Rome.
In this fountain, which, like its predecessors, was also built by Bernini (this time in collaboration with his son), a boat can be seen partially submerged as a tribute to the event in which the Tiber River overflowed and a boat that was swept away from it reached the place where the fountain stands.
Fontana del Tritone
In direct continuation of the marine motif, Rome also has the Triton Fountain dedicated to Triton – the god of the sea and the messenger of the sea, who was also the son of Poseidon and the nymph Amphitrite, who according to mythology became the leader of the Tritons and whose “superpower” was a huge shell from which a terrible sound emanated that scared away even the most fearful in the fortifications.
This beautiful fountain is located in Barberini square and near the famous Via Vento street, so it is likely that you will take a shower in it during your stroll through the city, but even if not – it is recommended to visit it and be impressed by the god who is half man and half fish.
The Fountain of the Bees (Fontana delle Api)
Right next to the Triton Fountain is the Bee Fountain. Don’t get confused, this is not a break from the routine of the Kingdom of the Sea, since in this fountain, which is also located in the magical Barberini square, things look like they land on a giant clam. There is not much to add about this fountain except for the recommendation to visit it due to its uniqueness and proximity to the Triton Fountain and the story behind it according to which it was originally supposed to be used as a trough for horses. surprising!
Paul’s water fountain – Acqua Paola (Fontana dell’Acqua Paola)
On the Vatican mountain, which is known according to the locals as Gianicolo Hill, there is a lovely fountain which, although it is less known among tourists, the locals will proudly tell you that it is actually the first large fountain of the city of Rome and therefore many call it by the affectionate name “The Fountain”, which suggests on its importance in local history. What do you say, are you coming to the fountain?
This fountain is characterized by period elements typical of the Baroque period when it was built and it presents large arches between which are separated by marble columns from which water flows and it is dedicated to the completion of the renovation work of the aquacoquet after which it is named. The sharp-eyed will notice the great similarity to the famous Trevi Fountain – this is because this ancient fountain served as a source of inspiration for the design of the famous fountain.
Fountain of the Naiads (Fontana delle Naiadi)
This fountain is located in the Republic Square at the top of Givat Viminala and near the Basilica of Saint Mary. It is considered one of the most beautiful tourist spots at night, so it is lit up with lots of lights that give it a particularly romantic atmosphere.
Originally, the fountain was connected to the Aqua Mercia Aquatic and four impressive lions stood in the center, but only about two decades after the completion of its construction, these statues were replaced by the statues of the Naiads – fresh water nymphs and in this case the nymph of the lakes, the nymph of the rivers, the nymph of the oceans and the nymph of the underground water.
Fontana di Pantheon
Last but not least, we recommend visiting the Pantheon fountain which is also known as “Fontana del Pantheon” and is the beautiful fountain standing in the square that surrounds the Pantheon and gives the place a slightly softer atmosphere considering the local history that was not always easy and magical. This fountain was also designed by the famous architect Giacomo Della Forte and in the spirit of the time and the city you can admire the four dolphins standing at its base.