Cookies help us to deliver our services. By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Top 5 fountains in Rome

Throughout the city you will find majestic fountains presiding over the squares of Rome. Here is a list of the best so you do not miss any of them.

Alex Grande

Alex Grande

6 min read

Top 5 fountains in Rome

One of the fountains in Piazza Navona | ©Shutterstock

Water has traditionally been an element of great importance in the architecture of Rome: its aqueducts brought water to each and every corner of the ancient empire, which was a symbol of greatness. But water is also considered the element that best represents purity in art, and that explains why the Eternal City has an endless number of fountains, in which such a precious treasure is displayed in thousands of different ways. Of the more than 2,000 fountains in the city, here is a list of my favorites and the ones I think you can't miss. Here are the 5 most beautiful fountains in Rome.## 1. Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain| ©Michele Bittetto
Trevi Fountain| ©Michele Bittetto

The Trevi Fountain is the most famous fountain in Rome and certainly in the whole world. It is an imposing set of sculptures in baroque style that rises above a pool of clear water in a spectacle for the eyes. After Anita Ekberg bathed in the Trevi Fountain in Fellini's film 'La Dolce Vita', the fountain became a place of pilgrimage and around it endure a whole series of traditions, such as throwing coins into the fountain to call good luck, make sure you will return to Rome, or find love.

The fountain is an allegory of the taming of the sea, with the central statue of Oceanus (the god Neptune) in the main niche mounted on a shell chariot, pulled by sea horses and tritons, between two statues representing health and abundance. The two horses, one tame and the other wild, are the representation of the two states of the sea.Bernini was the creator of the original idea for the Trevi Fountain, but upon the death of Pope Urban VIII the sculptor and architect fell into disgrace without his patron. Using his original plans, Nicola Salvi continued the project under the papacy of Clement XII and completed it almost a century after Bernini's first vision of this iconic fountain.### Where it is and how to get there

It is located in Via delle Muratte, in the Trevi district. To get to it directly, the nearest metro stop is Barberini, but what most people usually do is walk from the Spanish Steps in a single route.

Book a tour of fountains and squares in Rome

2. Acqua Paola Fountain

Fontana dell'Acqua Paola| ©Wikimedia
Fontana dell'Acqua Paola| ©Wikimedia

This fountain can be considered the sister of the Fontana di Trevi: designed by Giovanni Fontana, it was originally intended as a set of five small pools, but at the time of its construction the architect decided to unify them into a single pool, based on a design by Bernini for the Fontana di Trevi that was never realized. The Fontana dell'Acqua Paola, also known as Il Fontanone, is a monumental fountain located on the Gianicolo hill. It was built in 1612 at the end of the Acqua Paola aqueduct, which takes its name from Pope Paul V who ordered its restoration. Being on top of the hill, the location of the fountain has a certain aura, especially at sunset time when you can enjoy beautiful views of Rome while listening to the water of the fountain flowing. The simplicity and elegance of the fountain convey a lot of peace, and one detail I couldn't help but notice was the small inner courtyard behind the façade illuminated by the last rays of the sun.### Where it is and how to get there

To get to the Fontana dell'Acqua Paola (located in Via Garibaldi) from the center, the best way is to take bus 115 and get off at the Garibaldi/Iacobucci stop. You can also easily walk there from Trastevere, so visiting this majestic fountain is an ideal way to continue the day after a guided tour of the Trastevere district.

Booka tour of fountains and squares of Rome

3. Fontana delle Rane Fountain

La Fontana delle Rane| ©TripAdvisor
La Fontana delle Rane| ©TripAdvisor

La Fontana delle Rane, or Fountain of the Frogs, is in the center of the beautiful Coppedè district, one of the secret corners of the Eternal City that most tourists are unaware of. If I just made you curious, you can read more about this neighborhood and other unknown places in Rome. Personally, I find this fountain one of the most beautiful in Rome: the grass grows between the small sculptures of frogs and this gives it an aspect of a ruin forgotten by time in a fairy tale, a feeling that is intensified when you look up and observe the magical buildings of Coppedè.

According to the story, on a night in 1965 this fountain served the Beatles as a pool in which to take a dip, after a drink at a famous nearby bar, the Piper, which was also frequented by other legendary bands such as the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd.### Where it is and how to get there

There are no metro stations near Coppedè, so to get there by public transport the easiest way is to take streetcar 3 or 19 or bus 60, 66 or 69 to the Buenos Aires stop and walk to the corner of Via Dora and Via Tagliamento.## 4. Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi Fountain

La Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi in Piazza Navona| ©Gabriella Clare
La Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi in Piazza Navona| ©Gabriella Clare

This fountain occupies the central place in the famous Piazza Navona, so whatever you do in Rome I am sure it is impossible to miss it. The translation of its name would be the Fountain of the Four Rivers, and the fountain's four sculptures represent the river gods of the four continents: the Danube (Europe), the Rio de la Plata (America), the Nile (Africa) and the Ganges (Asia). Designed by Bernini, the great architect of Baroque Rome, the fountain is like a compass rose marking north, south, east and west, with Rome as the center of the world. The obelisk that rises above the sculptures, coming from the Circus of Maxentius, adds an imposing majesty to this ensemble. Something that I found very nice when I saw the fountain in detail is that each river is represented with a symbolic animal from each continent. Thus, the Nile becomes a lion under a palm tree, the Rio de la Plata is a crocodile and a cactus, the Danube a galloping horse over a field of flowers and the Ganges is represented with a dragon and an oar.### Where it is and how to get there

Somehow or another you are going to pass through Rome's Piazza Navona, as all guided tours of the city of Rome make a stop here. The square does not have a metro station per se, but you can get there on buses 40, 60 and 64 from various areas of the city.## 5. Tritone Fountain

La Fontana del Tritone| ©Eco Tour Roma
La Fontana del Tritone| ©Eco Tour Roma

The Triton Fountain is in Piazza Barberini, and at this point I'm sure you can guess who its creator was. Again, Bernini, but this time there is a detail that makes this fountain a unique work: it was entirely designed and sculpted by the artist. It was the first commission for a public fountain that the artist received, in 1643, and he managed to create such a masterpiece that his reputation as Rome's sculptor was established for many more works, as you have been able to read, and you will see on your trip. The fountain is a symbolic celebration of the papacy of Urban VIII, who would become Bernini's patron. Therefore, the central theme of the work shows the god Triton projecting a jet of water through a conch shell, on top of a huge seashell supported by dolphins, a symbol of the goodness of the papacy. But in addition, you can appreciate some elements such as the engravings of the bees, a symbol that appears on the coat of arms of Barberini, the Pope's house.### Where it is and how to get there

To get to Piazza Barberini, the most direct way is to go by metro to the stop of the same name, on line A. There are also plenty of buses to take you there: 52, 53, 56, 58, 58, 58, 60, 61, 95, 116, 175, 492 and 590.