Over A Million Dollars Is Thrown In The Trevi Fountain Each Year, And The Money Is Being Used To Feed The Poor

City Wonders

Probably one of the most popular tourist attractions in Rome, Italy, the Trevi Fountain – or the ‘Fontana di Trevi’ in Italian – goes as far back as the 1600s, if not further back than that. Back when the fountain was constructed, the original design was to provide a natural source of potable water to nearby residents through the aqueduct, making it one of the oldest water sources in the country.

But in 1730, Pope Clemens XII held a contest to create a new design for the fountain, which was eventually granted to Nicola Salvi, although he died before the renovation was completed. His design shows the sea god Oceanus being pulled by seahorses in a chariot made from shells, surrounded by more shells, fish, corals and other sea creatures.

But more than just being a beautiful structure that sits in the rather small Piazza di Trevi, locals and tourists alike flock to this area to take a look at this gorgeous structure, as well as to toss coins in the fountain in the belief that not only will you have good luck, but it’s a supposed promise that you’ll also return to Rome sometime in the future. Meanwhile, a second coin is thrown in if you happen to be looking for love, while a third is for wedding dreams.

In fact, there is even a way to throw the coin into the fountain, which is to stand facing away from the fountain, and with your right hand, throw your coin over your left shoulder and into the water. This tradition was born from the 1954 movie, Three Coins in the Fountain, a film about three American women living in Rome, wishing upon the Trevi fountain to find love in the beautiful city of Rome.

Incredibly, this famous water structure has more than €1 million coins thrown in every year, which is roughly $1.8 million. And while it’s a crime to steal the coins from the fountain, the city actually collects the coins using a special suction machine at night to give to Caritas, which is an Italian charity managed by the Catholic church, providing funding for food, clothing and even housing for the poor.

In addition, some of the extra funding also goes to the upkeep of a complex located on the outskirts of Rome, which has a canteen, a dental office, and even a nursing home for some of Rome’s poorer residents.

Take a look at the trailer for the 1951 film, Three Coins in a Fountain, in the video below:



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