4 Nov 2015

Restored Trevi set to wow

3:39 pm on 4 November 2015

Water is once more cascading from the world-famous Trevi fountain in the Italian capital Rome after it underwent a 17-month €2.2 million ($NZ3.6 million) renovation.

The restored Trevi fountain during its inauguration on November 3, 2015 in central Rome.

The restored Trevi fountain. Photo: AFP

The nearly 300-year-old fountain is visited by millions of tourists every year.

But its poor structural condition was exposed in 2012 when bits of its elaborate cornice began falling off after an especially harsh winter.

The fountain became famous in 1960 with the release of the film La Dolce Vita.

In the film a voluptuous Anita Ekberg wades through its pristine waters - her hopelessly infatuated male co-star in her wake - in what critics say is one of the enduring cinematic images of the 20th Century.

A team of 26 restorers have not only given the fountain a thorough cleaning, they have stopped it from crumbling away.

They have repaired cracks and steel supports with the aim of avoiding a repeat of the incident in 2012 when pieces of the fountain came crashing down.

Water once more tumbles from the base of the fountain's sea-god scene and new lighting shows off its gleaming Baroque facade.

The repairs have been paid for by the Italian fashion house Fendi, founded as a leather goods business in Rome in the 1920s and now part of French luxury giant LVMH. It agreed a deal which allows it to hang a plaque near the monument for four years.

The company has also spent €320,000 cleaning up the city's lesser known Le Quattro Fontane (Four Fountains).