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Fountains of Rome walking tour. Visiting Rome differently.

fountains of rome walk - roman fountains tour

Fountains of Rome are really stunning and I can strongly advise you to skip the tourist attractions and see them instead. Crowds at the Colosseum, a huge queue to St. Peter’s Basilica, thousands of tourists on the Palatine Hill… Tired of being constantly pushed by other people all day long, we asked ourselves: how to feel the real atmosphere of this city? Is it even possible in a place which seems to be one big tourist attraction? Visiting Rome doesn’t have to look like this. If you would like to feel the real Italian atmosphere rather than “giving high fives” to monuments, we have something for you. A walk among the Roman fountains will help you discover many gems and surprising views of the Italian capital. It will be a moment of rest after crowds of visitors in the most famous sights.

As you will see in our pictures, it was freaking cold and almost all the Roman fountains had icicles… One of the Italians told us that it was the coldest day in Rome in 40 years of his life! Well, on the other hand, only a few people had a chance to take photos of icicles hanging from the Roman fountains 😉 Let’s hit the road and see the most famous fountains of Rome!

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FOUNTAINS OF ROME TOUR

FONTANA DELLE NAIADI

We started our fountains of Rome walk at the Piazza Della Repubblica. Here you will find the fountain, which is supposed to be one of the most beautiful in Rome – Fontana Delle Naiadi. Its delicate and light form is an excellent counterbalance to the surrounding monumental, gray buildings from XIX century. Next to the square, there is also the Basilica of Santa Maria Degli Angeli e Dei Martiri, one of the Michelangelo’s masterpieces.

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SAN CARLO QUATTRO FONTANE

Walking in the north direction, we came across a marvelous square with the church of San Carlo Alle Quattro Fontane also called San Carlino… As the name may suggest, there are actually four Roman fountains in one place! Stay cautious, as inconspicuous bas-reliefs are located on the corners of the houses, and they are easy to miss. Together with the church located at one of the corners, they are considered as masterpieces of Baroque in Rome. This walk is not only about admiring fountains but also through history of the Eternal City 🙂

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FONTANA DEL TRITONE

Just two blocks away, in Piazza Barberini, you’ll find another small work of art – Fontana del Tritone. There is a fairly creepy story about the square itself… Until the XVIII century, unidentified corpses were left here in order to be recognized by the citizens of Rome! Today, the square is a perfect place to start a tour around the shops and pubs located in small streets next to the Via Sistina.

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FONTANA BARCACCIA

Going through Via Sistina street, you’ll reach the top of Trinita Dei Monti a.k.a famous Spanish Steps. Excellent option for people who don’t want to go up 135 steps to make it to the summit… From the top of the stairs, you have a perfect view over the famous Via Condotti, full of exclusive boutiques. It’s not a surprise, plenty of fashion shows are organized on the Spanish Steps. At the very bottom, you’ll notice Barcaccia fountain (Fountain of the Ugly Boat), commemorating floods, which destroyed Rome in XVI century. The overflowing Tiber threw here a small boat. When the water receded, this boat just stayed in the middle of the square. I remember that when I was here a dozen years ago, tourists washed their feet in a fountain…! Fortunately, nowadays a few carabinieri hold tourists’ fantasies at bay. It’s one of the most famous fountains of Rome.

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FONTANA DELL’ OBELISCO & FONTANA DEL NETTUNO

The most beautiful view of Rome? You can admire it not from the Spanish Steps, but the Pincio hill, located near Piazza del Popolo. The Square is huge, combining many historical styles and eras. In one place you will find the church of Santa Maria del Popolo from the XI century or the Egyptian obelisk from the X century BC surrounded by a fountain from XIX century, and you enter the square through the XVII-century Porta del Popolo… A real mish-mash showing the spirit of the Eternal City! In addition to the fountain at the obelisk, there is one more – Fountain of Neptune on the wall of the Pincio observation deck.

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FONTANA DI TREVI

Finally, when we got frozen to the bone, we decided to go to one of the world-famous fountains of Rome – Fontana di Trevi. To get there, we had to go through extremely crowded Via del Corso, which is a popular place for shopping. As di Trevi is the icon of Rome, there is a lot of tourists, what may kill the magic a bit… Everyone throws a coin into the fountain (one, two or three, depending on what you expect from life – another visit to Rome, romance or marriage). If you want to admire its beauty alone, best stay at home and watch Fellini’s La Dolce Vita – in the most famous scene actors goes… into the fountain. Even after 50 years, the scene still leaves a remarkable impression. Roman fountains at their finest!

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FONTANA DEI QUATTRO FIUMI

Along the way, we passed by other attractions – the Temple of Hadrian and the Pantheon. We had only a 15-minute walk to the famous Roman square – Piazza Navona. In fact, there are three fountains: Fontana Dei Quattro Fiumi, Fontana del Moror, and Fontana del Nettuno, while the first one remains the most famous – the Fountain of the Four Rivers. Each of the sculptures embodies another river: the Nile, Ganges, Danube and the South-American La Plata. In the past, it used to be a huge marketplace, now moved to the Campo di Fiori. Still, there are numbers of events ongoing – we came across the Epiphany procession 🙂

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FONTANA DI PONTE SISTO

If you don’t have enough walking… walk to the other side of the Tiber river. If you decide to use the Ponte Sisto bridge, another fountain masterpiece will be waiting for you by Piazza Trilussa square. Built in the XVII century, the fountain was aimed at solving problems with low water pressure on this side of the Tiber. Currently, it’s struggling with the same problem – there is no more water pouring from the edges of the upper canopy, you will see only two weak streams gushing from dragon heads.

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FONTANA DELL’ ACQUA PAOLA

Just a few more steps… A majestic wall of Il Fontanone appeared in front of us. This fountain was the inspiration for the most famous one – di Trevi. However, this fountain wouldn’t be built if not the… wine. The XVI-century citizens of Trastevere had big problems with access to the drinking water. It was collected either from brackish sources or from contaminated Tiber. To solve this problem, Pope Paul V started raising funds by implementing a tax on wine. It raised some local concerns… but eventually, the fountain was built, with a fresh water from a nearby Lake Bracciano. It’s the last fountain from our list, but I would advise you to continue walking. Come a little bit more up to the statue of Garibaldi and admire the panorama of Rome, seen from a new perspective. Surprisingly, it was one of our favourite Roman fountains!

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Do you like sightseeing cities in a less touristy way? Or maybe you would like to see Rome while tasting it?

Did you like Roman fountains? Do you recommend any others fountains of Rome? Like it? Pin it!

Visit the Eternal City while admiring fountains of Rome at the same time. The alternative guide to Rome and Roman fountains.

 

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    worldmission196
    March 1, 2017 at 09:01

    Oh I loved reading this just a week ago I did this wandering from fountain to fountain until midnight in Roma on my lonesome. Got to see some I missed which was awesome in your blog!!

    • Reply
      Magda
      March 1, 2017 at 09:22

      Wow, nice to hear that! Which one you liked the most? I think Il Fontanone is really spectacular, located on the hill, a bit isolated.

      • Reply
        worldmission196
        March 1, 2017 at 09:25

        I missed that one. I started at Trevi and saw 4 more from memory.. Guess Trevi was my favourite. After that a local guy approached me and kissed me within 2 minutes of meeting me. I was a little shocked and being thrown of my mission of fountain hunting. I tried to convince him to join me but I think he had other ideas and eventually disappeared… But fountain hunting is more fun than making out with cute Italian locals 😂😂😂

        • Reply
          Magda
          March 1, 2017 at 09:37

          Whaaat?! 😀 It’s the most ridiculous story I have heard in ages 😀 Of course, fountains definitely win with strangers kissing you haha 😉

          • worldmission196
            March 1, 2017 at 09:46

            I would have shared it on my facebook wall when it happened but didn’t want to give my parents a heart attack 😂😂😂

          • Magda
            March 1, 2017 at 09:57

            Definitely! Our lives seem so boring now 😀

  • Reply
    Ricarda Christina Hollweg
    March 1, 2017 at 09:07

    I love this beautiful photography-based blogpost. I think it’s great that it’s focused on photogenic details, fountains in this case. I also love to shoot fountains and I’m sure Rome must be a paradise for this.

    • Reply
      Magda
      March 1, 2017 at 09:20

      Thank you a lot, Rome has many fountain gems 🙂

  • Reply
    travelwithtarah
    March 1, 2017 at 09:31

    Wow, I want to go to Rome right now and follow your exact path! I love to see the less touristy sides of cities and I think you found a great way to do that. Almost felt like I was there with you via your awesome pictuers!

    • Reply
      Magda
      March 1, 2017 at 09:38

      Thanks dear! We are also trying to find some alternative routes in places full of tourists 🙂 Sometimes it is a real challenge!

  • Reply
    Natasha von Geldern
    March 1, 2017 at 09:53

    Wow you’ve made me feel like I’m in Rome again! Beautiful photos, especially the lion fountain. Definitely saving this post for my next visit to Rome!

    • Reply
      Magda
      March 1, 2017 at 09:55

      Thanks! I hope you will enjoy the walk! 🙂

  • Reply
    WorldGlimpses
    March 1, 2017 at 11:25

    Beautiful fountains, and a great way to spend such cold day! 🙂 And you are so right: every popular city is so crowded when it comes to visiting famous landmarks that it just becomes overwhelming sometimes. But, one just has to be prepared, right, I usually read a book about the place or chat with people in the queue. 😀 Nice post, specific!

    • Reply
      Magda
      March 1, 2017 at 11:28

      Thank you! Chatting with people in queue is a great idea… unless this queue turns into crazy crowd of people trying to make their ways in totally opposite directions on very limited space 😀 Then my primal instinct wins and all I wanna do is running away!

      • Reply
        WorldGlimpses
        March 1, 2017 at 11:58

        Heheheh, I know what you mean! But, than again, there’s always going to be some other spot to visit, right? 😉 Like these fountains in your post, great alternative. And original one too! 🙂

  • Reply
    Jennifer Schlueter
    March 1, 2017 at 14:06

    A fountain walk is such an awesome idea 😀 Will do that next time I’m there. My favorite fountains were San Carlo and Trevi when I was there. Love their details!

  • Reply
    urbantwists
    March 1, 2017 at 15:01

    Amazing! They were waiting to be put on the list, weren’t they? 😀 my favourite would probably be the ones on Piazza Navona, that square really has its own atmosphere

  • Reply
    Caroline @ The Travelling Sloth
    March 1, 2017 at 16:30

    I didn’t realise how many fountains there were in Rome (then again, I haven’t visited yet). These fountains are so detailed, I imagine it would have taken ages to sculpt them. Also, I love how you’ve mapped the fountains out… You definitely can’t tell it was freezing just by looking at your photos.

  • Reply
    abbi @ spinthewindrose.com
    March 1, 2017 at 20:38

    What a wonderful way to explore Rome! I’ve visited a number of times and the fountains are one of my favourite things about the city (particularly because the water is safe to drink!) My favourite is the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi in Piazza Navona… What a wonderful post – I want to go back to Rome now!

  • Reply
    Jacklyn
    March 2, 2017 at 01:54

    These photos are absolutely STUNNING! I LOVE your capture of the Trevi Fountain, also! I knew that Rome had a ton of fountains but had never thought to explore them all. Love this post and have it bookmarked for my next trip back!

  • Reply
    Nerdventurists
    March 2, 2017 at 08:48

    What a clever way to explore the city! I adored this! Some cities have less touristy distinctive features and you really exoressed Rome in such a beautiful and unique way. Also your photos are gorgeous!

    • Reply
      Magda
      March 2, 2017 at 09:08

      Thank you for these nice words! We hope to inspire people to do some less touristy things in Rome 😉

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