The Fontana di Trevi, scene of movie star Anita Ekberg's dip in La Dolce Vita, is a flamboyant baroque ensemble of mythical figures and wild horses taking up the entire side of the 17th-century Palazzo Poli. After a Fendi-sponsored restoration finished in 2015, the fountain gleams brighter than it has for years. The tradition is to toss a coin into the water, thus ensuring that you'll return to Rome – on average about €3000 is thrown in every day.
The fountain's design, the work of Nicola Salvi in 1732, depicts sea-god Oceanus in a shell-shaped chariot being led by Tritons with seahorses – one wild, one docile – representing the moods of the sea. In the niche to the left of Neptune a statue represents Abundance; to the right is Salubrity. The water comes from the aqua virgo, a 1st-century-BC underground aqueduct, and the name Trevi refers to the tre vie (three roads) that converge at the fountain.
Most famously, Trevi Fountain is where Anita Ekberg cavorted in a ballgown in Fellini’s classic La Dolce Vita (1960); apparently she wore waders under her iconic black dress.
In 2016, to celebrate 90 years of the Fendi fashion house, Fendi staged an utterly magical 'Legends and Fairytales' fashion show in the Trevi Fountain. Launching Fendi's autumn-winter haute-couture collection, catwalk models walked on water – or rather they strutted across a glass walkway constructed above the emerald water – as the sun set over Rome's most famous fountain.
The fountain gets very busy during the day; visit later in the evening when it's beautifully lit and you can appreciate its foaming majesty without such great hordes.