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It’s amazing how a tradition holds up. Tourism in Rome is expressive every year and some customs do not change. One of them, and perhaps the most emblematic, is throwing coins into the Trevi Fountain. But nobody wonders what happens to them, right? Here we find out what happens to all the coins that are thrown into the most beautiful fountain in the world every year.
How did the tradition of throwing coins into the Trevi Fountain come about?
The Trevi Fountain was designed by Nicola Salvi and built between 1732 and 1762. He represents the water rulership of the GrecoRoman gods. For this reason it has Corinthian columns. In addition, it depicts a strong and imposing ocean god taming sea creatures, representations of the mysteries of the seas.
The custom of tourists to tossing a coin in the fountain with their backs to them dates back to the 1954 film Three Coins in the Fountain, in which the characters, like humans, toss a coin into the fountain over their left shoulder.
But what happens to so much cash thrown around by thousands of tourists every year?
Where do the coins thrown into the fountain end up?
The number of coins amounts to around 1.5 million euros per year. There were repeated attempts to steal. So the Prefecture of Rome took on the responsibility of commenting on it.
Since 2001, the town hall has summoned a specialized team once a year to withdraw the amount. This team stacks the coins, sucks them out of the water with a suction hose, and then wraps them. Everything happens under the watchful eye of the police.
A portion of the proceeds goes to Caritas, Rome’s largest charity. Another part goes to a complex on the outskirts of Rome that houses a range of social services. Both run homes, orphanages and social work with the homeless with funds from the Well.
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