Trevi Fountain: A Masonry Marvel

What if we were in Rome? (Maybe you are!) We’d saunter over to Trevi Fountain seeking skin-cooling relief at its water’s edge. Surely this architectural beauty would additionally radiate spiritual solace and admiration of a bygone era.

Daytime View of Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain (Credit: Verch, Marco)

Trevi’s timeline began in 19 BC when a spring fed by an aqueduct became a Roman bath. Between 1629 and 1762 different architects under the guise of different popes fortified and enhanced the structure in the popular piazza we see today. (Yes, it’s the coin-throw fountain.) The latest 2015 restoration with improvements (e.g., LED lighting) was financed by the Fendi fashion house. I find their masonry facts compelling:

3,900 square meters restored travertine [limestone] and marble…
340 square meters of restored stucco
320 square meters of restored basin
100 square meters of restored plaster
80 square meters of restored bricks…
26 restorers
” (Reddinger).

For non-metric folks, picture 340 square meters being just under half the width and a quarter the length of an American football field.

If you’re wondering why I made this comparison, wade through (or skip) these equations:

1 meter = 3.281 feet
square = area of length by width
1 square meter = 10.76 square feet (3.281 X 3.281)
340 square meters = 3,658.4 square feet (340 x 10.76)
3,658.4 rounded to 3,600 = 60 feet by 60 feet
3 feet = 1 yard
60 feet x 60 feet = 20 yards x 20 yards
53.3 yards wide x 100 yards long = 1 US football field
approximately less than 1/2 width x 1/4 length of a football field = 340 square meters

Sorry if my minor calculating seems confusing, but can you imagine actually tackling major monument-building back in BC! What’s much more interesting (than my math) is a video lesson in Chapter 4 of an online course entitled: “Roman Engineering and Architecture.”

In closing, I’ll share that yesterday on Facebook we briefly melded the same medley — summer heat, Roman history, and masonry buildings. I wanted to expound here especially, BECAUSE it’s 103 degrees Fahrenheit outside AND wouldn’t it be DIVINE plunging a toe or two into TREVI right this moment?!

Works Cited

Reddinger, Paige. “Fendi Unveils Their Restoration of the Trevi Fountain in Rome.” The Daily Front Row. Nov. 3, 2015,

Verch, Marco . Trevi-Brunnen [Image attribution]. Jan. 10, 2016. CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons.