Photographer's Note

The Trevi Fountain (in Italian, Fontana di Trevi) is the largest (standing 85 feet high and 65 feet wide) and most ambitious of the Baroque fountains of Rome.

The fountain at the juncture of three roads (tre vie) marks the terminal point of the Aqua Virgo (in Italian: Acqua Vergine), one of the ancient aqueducts that supplied water to Rome. In 19 BC, supposedly with the help of a virgin, Roman technicians located a source of pure water only 14 miles (22 km) from the city. This Aqua Virgo was carried over Rome's shortest aqueduct directly to the Baths of Agrippa and served Rome for more than four hundred years. The "coup de grace" for the urban life of late classical Rome came when the Goth besiegers broke the aqueducts. Medieval Romans were reduced to polluted wells and the dangerous water of the Tiber, which was also used as a sewer.

The Roman custom of building a handsome fountain at the endpoint of an aqueduct that brought water to Rome was revived in the 15th century, with the Renaissance. In 1453, Pope Nicholas V finished mending the Aqua Vergine aqueduct and built a simple basin, designed by the humanist architect Leon Battista Alberti, to herald the water's arrival.

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