|The most famous fountain in the world.
a fountain discovered
Emerging from the dark street, I was blinded by bright sunshine. When my eyes adjusted, I saw a magnificent travertine marble fountain of statues and water - this was the Trevi Fountain!
In photographs the fountain looked like it must sit in a vast plaza like St. Peter's Square. But it didn't. The imposing sculpture took up the entire side of a palazzo and the pool spread out over much of the piazza, making the fountain loom even larger.
The square was crowded with people, sitting on balustrades, throwing coins in the water, standing around in groups.
The sound that had drawn me to this place was made by flowing water falling into the large pool beneath the feet of the statues. The giant gods trying to restrain their horses looked as if they might fly across the piazza if they were ever released from their marble moorings.
As I made my way to the pool's edge, I rummaged for a coin to throw into the fountain. I had been conditioned by countless movies to perform the ritual of throwing a coin over one's shoulder, ensuring a return trip to the Eternal City.
As I turned to see where my coin had landed, I noticed a workman stepping into the pool. Was this Marcello Mastroianni wading once more into the fountain as he did with Anita Ekberg in the movie La Dolce Vita? But no, he was merely adjusting a tap and wading out again.
I sat down on a warm travertine balustrade to bask in the sun and gaze into the shimmering water. I dipped my fingers into the cool water finding it hard to imagine that the water that flowed through this fountain came through the same aqueduct that supplied the baths of ancient Rome.
I saw the cat that had led me to this place nosing around the edge of the pool. Was it a descendant of the one that had lured Anita Ekberg to the Trevi?
- Dorothy Gebert