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Every year, thousands of coins end up in the Trevi Fountain. Travelnews reveals what happens to the money from the landmark. Image: Adobe Stock

What happens to the money from the Trevi Fountain?

Trevi Fountain is one of the biggest tourist magnets in Rome. According to an old custom, many people who visit it throw one or more coins into it. But who does this money belong to?

Legend has it that throwing coins into the Trevi Fountain with your right hand over your left shoulder brings good luck. If you throw a single coin, you will return to Rome. If you throw two coins, you will fall in love with an Italian man or woman. If you throw a third coin, you will marry your sweetheart.

Due to the millions of tourists who flock to the Italian capital, many with hopes of revisiting and perhaps even finding lifelong love, a significant number of coins find their way into the fountain.

Early in the morning, several times a week, when the square around the fountain is still empty, employees of the regional energy supplier ACEA fish the coins out of the water with long brooms and suction hoses - money worth several thousand francs every week. According to «Roma Today» around one and a half million francs were raised as a whole in 2023.

The owner of the coins from the fountain is the city of Rome itself. However, it does not keep the money itself, but passes it on to the charity organisation Caritas. This was established in 2001 and confirmed once again last December as part of an agreement between the city and the Vicariate of Rome.

The fact that Caritas continues to benefit from the money from the Trevi Fountain is not a matter of course. In 2017, the city government intended to keep the proceeds from the Trevi Fountain for itself in search of new sources of income. After a storm of indignation, it finally backed down.

At Caritas, the coins are dried - using conventional hairdryers, among other things - and then sorted and counted. The proceeds are then used for social projects: The homeless, the sick and people living in extreme poverty benefit. Signs placed at the fountain indicate that the coins are used for charitable purposes.