Romantic Rome: the ancient legend of the fountain of lovers beside the Trevi Fountain
The Eternal City knows how to conquer at first sight and, thanks to its beauty, to the abundance of artistic treasures of enormous value and to its legendary aura, it is one of the best solutions for a relaxing couple, culture and romantic trip. A few people - exept for the inhabitants - know about the existence of the Fontanella degli Innamorati: this small fountain is right next to one of the most evocative and famous attractions in the world, the Trevi Fountain, set of dozens of movies. Furthermore, this place is even more interesting and mysterious thanks to an ancient legend, whose meaning can touch the deepest strings of the soul. Let's find out what it is about.
The legend of the Fontanella degli Innamorati
Right next to one of the most famous fountains in the world, the Trevi Fountain, there is a small fountain by architect Nicola Salvi to allow walkers to refresh themselves on hot summer days. This is known as Fontanella degli Innamorati and owes its name to an ancient local legend according to which the Roman girls, whenever their boyfriends were forced to leave home to serve in the army, used to drink a sip of water together with them there. To be sure their partners would come back safely, the girls used to carry out a short ritual: they asked their lover to accompany them to drink the water at the fountain, bringing with them a couple of new glasses, so they drank together and then smashed the two glasses, so that their bond could last forever. A romantic legend that shows girls' love for their men and the desire to return alive from the war.
The project by architect Salvi
When Nicola Salvi designed the fountain, he paid peculiar attention on details: his preoccupation was to make the fountain easy to get reached, as the water had a specific task. The Trevi fountain actually was the final step of the Virgin water course and, although it poured a lot of water, the latter could not be drunk. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, the Aqua Vergine aqueduct, built by Marco Agrippa in the 1st century BC to supply the homes of the Regio Via Lata and the new baths, was again in operation, thanks to the wishes of Pope Clement XII, who had restored and expanded the aqueduct so that it could carry water to the Campus Martius. Until the end of the previous century, water arrived only to the houses belonging to aristocratic families, as well as to the most important monasteries and churches. Even noble families, monks and priests, however, were required to pay an annual tax, calculated on the basis of the capacity of the so-called "fistula", the pipe that carried water to the house.
The people had to reach the fountains throughout the city and fill up the skins to collect water. It was precisely to guarantee the Roman people the possibility to easily collect water that architect Nicola Salvi decided to build the small fountain, equipping it with two crossing jets, so that the bottles of Roman women could get faster filled up. Moreover, historians and art scholars told that the recollection basin located under the crossed jets could probably be part of the fountain placed where the Trevi Fountain was before being monumentalized during the 18th century. The great fountain was designed by Nicola Salvi himself: the competition organized by Pope Clement XII in 1731 had been won by the sculptor Lambert Adam, however, a few months later, the assignment was transferred to Salvi since it seems the pope did not want to entrust the realization of the work to a foreigner. After Salvi's death in 1751, the Trevi fountain was completed by Giuseppe Pannini and inaugurated in 1762.
The peculiarity of the crossed jets
The two crossed jets deserve a brief reflection. The architect could have built a standard fountain, equipped with a single pipe, but probably Salvi wanted to give the fountain a symbolic value, as well as practical. Then he decided to cross the water between the two pipes for a specific reason, linked to the Catholic church and to the one who had commissioned the work, Pope Clement XII. In Christian symbolism, the two doves that simultaneously drink in the stone glass represent the soul and the strongest emotions and feelings, including faith and love, both destined to last forever. This explains why Salvi designed the fountain with two pipes: allowing more people to drink at the same time. If during your romantic stay in Rome you will want to seal your bond in front of a symbol of pure love like the Fontanella degli Innamorati, all you have to do is reach the Trevi Fountain. Doing it starting from the Jeune Botique Hotel is very simple: just follow the signs and in a few minutes you will find yourself in front of one of the most famous fountains in the world. To enjoy the best of a city so beautiful and full of attractions, there is no better place than the Jeune Boutique Hotel, an elegant structure equipped with every comfort, located right in the centre. Three wonderful suites are available to customers, perfect for a dream vacation. Before booking your stay in Rome, take a look at the hotel's official website: you'll immediately fall in love with it!