Almost every square in Rome and the Vatican City is adorned with a beautiful fountain at its center. Like so many other elements of Rome, these fountains are pure works of art and several are tourist attractions in their own right. Following is a list of some of Rome's most famous and most lovely fountains.
The most famous fountain in all of Italy is the Trevi Fountain, an over-the-top Baroque masterpiece completed only in 1762. At all hours of the day, the Fontana di Trevi is thronged by tourists who visit it to throw coins into its pool in the hopes that this practice will ensure a return trip to Rome. Other than the cost of a coin or two, it costs nothing to see the Trevi Fountain, making it one of Rome's Top Free Atrractions.
One of the most prolific artists in Rome was Gianlorenzo Bernini, who was active artistically from 1622-1680. In addition to breathing life into the marvelous marble creations in the Museo Borghese, Bernini sculpted several fountains in the city, the most famous of which is the Four Rivers Fountain in Piazza Navona. Other Bernini fountains appear across the city, including the Fontana del Tritone in Piazza Barberini and the Fontana della Barcaccia just below the Spanish Steps.
Fontana delle Naiadi
Dating from the 19th to the early 20th centuries, the Fontana delle Naiadi, or the Fountain of the Nymphs, is perhaps Rome's most sensual fountain. The large fountain which decorates the Piazza della Repubblica, features a central pool on which Glaucus, the Water God is perched surrounded by four naiads – nymphs – which represent the four types of water: the rivers, the oceans, the lakes, and the underground waters.
Fontana delle Tartarughe
A diminutive fountain in an out-of-the-way square, the "Turtle Fountain" is worth seeking out. Designed by Giacomo della Porta, who also designed the fountains on either end of Piazza Navona, this playful fountain features four male figures propped up on dolphins and assisting tiny turtles into the small pool above them. Located in Piazza Mattei in the Jewish Ghetto neighborhood, the fountain is a nice diversion not far from Campo de' Fiori.