Trevi Fountain

One of the interesting things about travel to famous places is how the encounter with the landmark scene is so different from the context my mind has built up around it.

The Trevi Fountain is a good example. In 1954, during its first run, I saw the movie, “Three Coins in the Fountain.” I was only 20 years old at the time but even then, I knew it was a piece of Hollywood crap. The only thing more insipid than the insipid movie itself was the insipid theme song, sung most insipidly.

But, at the time, I didn’t realize the deception that the camera created. If I could watch it without gagging, I’d like to rerun the movie to confirm my belief that there was a deception of perception.

I could swear that the camera in the movie was carefully manipulated to give the impression that the fountain is the centerpiece of a large broad plaza.  It’s much more than that.

The fact is, the fountain is the WHOLE DAMN PLAZA.

There is a semi-circle  of stone steps squeezed right up around the pool at its base. Trip on them and you are going swimming. 

As soon as I took the picture above, I turned to my right and saw this behind.

When I say “behind” I am being quite literal.

The telephoto lens on my camera shows the . . . err . . .  behind that was . . .  behind me.

Click on it to expand.

I didn’t try to go around front to catch that view. I’m an old man.  This was early in the morning. If I am going to go looking for a heart attack, it will be in the evening, after a great dinner, following another hour or so of lounging in a sidewalk cafe.  I’m not going to throw away the entire fine and final day of my life on a pair of mammaries. (More recently, I have seen Pippa’s final statement. Not much could top or bottom that.)

After she was finished whatever she was doing, and to whomever she was doing it, I went around to the center of the fountain and had my tourist photo taken.

My disappointed comments should not dissuade anyone from visiting the fountain. It is an amazing blend of art and engineering.

I’m not going to start spouting (pun alert!) the dry (sorry, can’t help myself) statistics but many people do not know that there are no pumps driving the waters. The fountain was built long before electricity. The waters are gravity fed from a reservoir miles away, high up in the hills.

It’s reported that an average of $3,500 per day is tossed into the fountain by tourists in hope of being blessed by the ancient promise that tossing a coin over your shoulder will guarantee that you will visit Rome again.  Sure, why not? So I put in my two cents worth.  Here are a few more clickable photos.

and here’s a YouTube clip from a much better film than “Three Coins.”  This is from “La Dolce Vida” (The Sweet Life) with forever young Marcelo Mastrianni and forever large and Swedish, Anita Ekberg.  (it is possible the lady whose behind I left behind was . . . ?? . . .  naaah . . . naaaah. But could be.)

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