Trevi Fountain – an eternal source of income

The Trevi Fountain was designed by baroque architect Nicolò Salvi (1697-1751), but who didn’t live to see the completion of the marble masterpiece in 1762. It found global fame some 200 years later when actress Anita Ekberg, wearing a black evening dress, seductively takes a plunge in the fountain in Frederico Fellini’s 1960 “La Dolce Vita” film.

“Marcello, come here!” she sighs to her acting partner Marcello Mastroianni – and his character doesn’t need asking twice. Today, however, it is strictly forbidden to even dip a toe into the legendary fountain.

Collection point for coins from around the world

Once a week the spectacle of collecting the coins takes placed – watched by thousands of curious onlookers. Until now, the money was donated to charities and good causes – but whether this will continue to be the case is yet to be decided. The different types of coins – euros, dollars, pounds or yuans show how popular the fountain is internationally. The Catholic relief organization Caritas says the city of Rome could annually fish in the region of one million euro out of the fountain –and they should know because until now they’ve traditionally been the recipients of those coins.


Legend says that throwing coins into a fountain can bring luck. In the case of the Trevi Fountain the legend says that if you throw a coin over your left shoulder into the fountain’s waters, then you’re destined to return to Rome. Countless tourists put this to the test, so much so, that every year coins worth a million euro are thrown into the fountain.


“I’m doing this because it’s thought to bring luck. But why that should be the case I don’t know,” says Sabine from Dortmund, who takes pictures as her husband throws a coin into the Trevi waters. They have painstakingly fought their way through the crowds to the edge of the fountain, where people from Japan, China, the USA are also taking position to launch their coins.

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