The Fontana di Trevi is the most famous fountain in the world and everyone knows that you have to cast a coin into its waters to ensure your return to Rome. However, few people are aware that within its shadow lies another fountain; one which has a much more romantic custom attached to it.
Known as the Fontana degli Innamorati, the Lovers' Fountain is made up of nothing more than a small basin and two spouts. It was once the practice for a young couple who were about to be separated* for a long period of time, to go to the fountain on the evening before they were due to part. There they would both drink water from a new glass, which they would then smash. This ritual was believed to guarantee that the lovers would eventually be reunited.
*The most common cause of separation was compulsory military service, which lasted for two years.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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