Saturday, October 20, 2007

Three Streets

~The secret of life is in art~
Oscar Wild (1854-1900)

I think that you all know the legend, which has it that whoever throws a coin into the pond will return to Rome: Fontana di Trevi

The name of the fountain is most likely a corruption of the Italian ''Tre Vie'', three streets. It refers to the three streets that meet in front of the fountain. Because every visitor to Rome wants to return, everyone takes part in very well-known tradition stated above.

Did you know? An Academy-Award winning song, ''Three Coins in a Fountain'' has been written about it.

The Trevi Fountain (Italian: Fontana di Trevi), a stunningly beautiful, 18th-century architectural masterpiece. Built for Pope Clement XII between 1732-1762. Nicolo Salvi designed the project. The 60.5-foot wide, 85-foot tall fountain takes up the entire rear wall of Palazzo Poli. Neptune, god of the oceans, carved by Pietro Bracci in 1762, lords over his watery world. Two Tritons, sons of Neptune, guide his chariot through the fountain.

Acqua Vergine (English: The virgin) a 20-mile long aqueduct feeds the Trevi Fountain. In 19 BC a young girl showed the source of the water to Roman soldiers. Above the fountain to the right of Neptune a bas-relief shows the virgin pointing out the spring to these soldiers. This aqueduct also supplies water to fountains in Piazza Navona, Piazza di Spagna and Piazza Farnese.

Source: Film poster taken from Wikipedia

I love very much this baroque fountain in my beloved Eternal City! The water is really clear. Ever since actress Anita Ekberg frolicked through its waters in classic film ''La Dolce Vita'' (English: The Sweet Life) directed by Federico Fellini in 1960's, there has been a succession of tourists who have tried to do the same thing -like I did as well:) And you never easily can wait for your turn to be able to throw your coin and take a photo beside the fontana. View the photos above which all taken when I was in Rome last year in August.

Until NOW, noone had ever changed the colour of its waters. At least, I do not remember any action like that before.

Source: Photo taken from Corriere paper.

Yesterday late evening I am shocked when reading the news
in Corriere with this headline: ''E Fontana di Trevi diventa rossa''. You may have read it, too. It writes that a man threw paint into the basin and then turns Trevi's waters red. Maybe the fountain's marble could be damaged by the continued contact with the red water. Because it's stated that the fountain re-uses the same water in a continuous cycle.

Personally, I am tearing down for this architectural heritage!

Seems to be a common theme of the people NOT understanding the importance of history in our cities, or not really caring. This is what I keep trying to point out to people when discussing historic preservation.

Well, I ask you now, instead of saying ''Woulda... coulda.. shoulda..'', lets try our best something more potentially helpful. How about to trying to step in again to save these kind of historic prosperities?

Or, looking at it another way, is it merely naive of us to watch the notion of such fine historic treasure being destroyed?

We're not in the business of building such masterpieces. But we're in the business of saving souls!

''Art is essentially
the affirmation,
the blessing,
and the deification of existence''

by Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)


  1. Wonderful! I saw it this summer! Italy, Rome, history, art, traditions. Unfortunately a lot of tourists and not very educated.
    I agree with your opinions about saving monuments and souls.
    XX, Sma

  2. aaaahh fontana di trevi!! been there with my daughter two years ago and stayed just around the corner of the fontain. at out last evening we both threw a coin in it. so definitely going back again. we love the eternal city, lovely friendly people (i think the friendliest in europe!!, so much history and one of the place i would like to live. you told it's story so well nihal!! thanks for the post and memories.

  3. @ Sma: Oh my! Why you did not gimme a call before travelling in Rome? Just kidding, smile:)

    * A good news *
    Today I'm Big-Smiling because Fontana di Trevi is cleaned and it's again clear like before, the paper states. My sincere hope is that may no any objet d'art be used for the politics actions, please!