A Peek into the Roots of Outdoor Fountains
The Roman scholar Pope Nicholas V (1397-1455) decided to have hundreds of historic Greek books translated into Latin. Continuing in his quest to make the city deserving of being called the capital of the Christian world, he resolved to enhance the beauty of the city as well. Beginning in 1453, he called for the reconstruction of the Acqua Vergine, a wrecked Roman aqueduct which had carried clean drinking water into the city from eight miles away. Nicholas V also embarked on the building of mostras, an old Roman tradition of putting up grand public fountains to indicate the terminal point of an aqueduct. The Trevi Fountain now occupies the space previously filled with a wall fountain crafted by Leon Battista Albert, an architect employed by him. The aqueduct he had reconditioned included modifications and extensions which eventually allowed it to supply the necessary water to the Trevi Fountain as well as the famed baroque fountains in the Piazza del anonymous
Popolo and the Piazza Navona.