The paper of record needs to stick a post-it in one of its travel resources; actually, defacing the book with a hand-written note would seem to be justified. Here's Iva Skoch:
One of my favorite corrections sections is in the Travel section of The New York Times. I bet nobody else reads it ,although it can be quite entertaining. This is my favorite correction of this week: "An article on April 20 about Rome at night misidentified the figure from mythology represented in the centerpiece sculpture of the Trevi Fountain. It is Oceanus, the Titan who the ancient Greeks believed ruled the watery elements - not Neptune, the Roman god of the sea."
That wouldn't be so bad, but this is what they included as an excuse: "The error has appeared for years in travel guides about Rome, is found extensively in Internet references, and has infiltrated at least five other articles in The Times since 1981."
Great. Some slacker once put a false piece of information in a guidebook and it's been picked up repeatedly in the last 27 years. You would think that the NY Times wouldn't rely on guidebooks for their fact-checking.
Only don't click on that Wikipedia link, because the entry identifies the figure as Neptune!
What does it matter, anyway? Well...Neptune is just one of those Johnny-come-lately Olympians, whereas Oceanus is the more primordial and more philosophically amenable being...or so Nicola Salvi (the original designer of the Trevi Fountain) saw it. In his explanation, which I'm getting from The Art Bulletin 38 (1956), 169-71, he says:
Oceanus, whose statue will be placed on the Fountain of Trevi should certainly be considered as belonging to the same series as the other ancient deities who, under the cloak of mysterious imagery, have always symbolized useful lessons in moral philosophy or have contained hidden explanations of natural phenomena. This god, according to those authors who have had occasion to speak of him, has never been the subject of fanciful legends, but has always been referred to in terms which denote a Power as superior to other Powers, as a universal Cause is superior to particular Causes. This clearly shows us that he was thought of by ancient philosophers as one of those prime, most powerful agents among natural phenomena, and was one of the original sources of an infinite number of products which depended on him.
In more specific terms he may be described thus. Oceanus has been represented at times as a figure traversing the seas on a chariot drawn by dolphins, preceded by Tritons, and followed by a numerous train of sea Nymphs. This image signifies that the visible and immense body of ocean waters are held together and constrained in the broad bosom of the Earth, and this water when it is in its assigned place we call the Sea. This Sea is, so to speak, the perpetual source which has the power to diffuse various parts of itself, symbolized by the Tritons and the sea Nymphs, who go forth to give necessary sustenance to living matter for the productivity and conservation of new forms of life, and this we can see. But after this function has been served, these parts return in a perpetual cycle to take on new spirit and a new strength from the whole, that is to say from the sea itself.
At other times Oceanus has been called the father of all things, and was believed to be the son of the Sky and of the Earth; in this role he is not the symbol of the powerful operative forces of water gathered together in the sea so much as the actual working manifestation of these powers, which appear as moisture; in this form water permeates all material things, and winding through the veins of Earth, even into the most minute recesses, reveals itself as the everlasting source of that infinite production which we see in Nature, which water also is capable of perpetuating in its productivity by its untiring ministrations.
Thus, in whatever way we choose to visualize Oceanus, it will always be true that the image must embody an impression of power which has no limit, and is not restricted in the material world by any bounds. It is completely free and always at work in even the smallest parts of the created Universe. Here it is brought and distributes itself to make useful those parts of Earth which give nutrition and birth to new forms. At the same time it quenches the excessive heat which would destroy this life. Thus water can be called the only everlasting source of continuous being.
[...and he goes on for a page or two after that, with the specifics...]