trevi fountain facts

Trevi Fountain facts in Rome: what happens to coins thrown in the water?

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The Trevi Fountain is an absolute jaw dropper of an attraction, and one of the top things to see in Rome. Churning through almost 3 million cubic feet of water daily it is not just a water source – it is a symbol of Rome and even a source of charity!

It is a top place for photo opportunities, people watching and even the odd marriage proposal. It has also developed as a top film scene location! The fountain has become an icon since the late 1960’s when the La Dolce Vita film hit the scene, and has remained a popular place ever since.

Check out some of these Trevi fountain facts and learn just what happens to the coins thrown in the water here!


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Trevi Fountain Facts and History

The Fontana di Trevi is simply breath taking, largely in part due to its’ sheer size! Rome’s largest fountain stands at over 85 feet and dominates the area. This 18th century masterpiece is one of the most iconic symbols of Rome.

A fountain has stood in this place since the 15th century, however this Salvi designed version was finished in 1762 and was well worth the wait.

Trevi Fountain fun facts

Some fun historical Trevi Fountain facts include the fact that the same Roman aqueduct that gives the fountain its’ water also diverts to the Piazza Navona!

Another interesting fact is the original sculptor Bernini died in the middle of the first attempt to build the current fountain.

trevi fountain facts

Trevi Fountain Legend

Original Trevi Fountain Legend has it those who throw coins into the fountain will be guaranteed a return visit to Rome! Nowadays, the legend has taken on a slightly different spin.  Many now claim more than just a return trip as a benefit of throwing money into the Trevi Fountain.

This might be down to a certain Film – Three Coins in a Fountain. The new legend states that your first coin will guarantee your return trip to Rome. However, if you are to throw a second you will find love, and a third you will be married!

trevi fountain facts

Throwing Coins in the water

There is a certain etiquette to throwing coins in the Trevi Fountain!

Firstly, which is largely a shame – you have to do it with your back turned! This means you are missing the beautiful sculptures on the fountain itself, including images of Poseidon and Oceanus.

Secondly, you will need to throw with your right hand over your left shoulder to be in with a chance of getting the benefits of the Trevi Fountain Legend!  Sometimes it can be hard to even perform the motion with all the crowds! Wait your turn or you will miss out on one of the great things to do in Rome.

Where do the Coins go after?

Of course, if the coins that every tourist just languished in the Trevi Fountain you would soon find no room left for the water! So what exactly happens to the money that people throw in here?

Well the answer is simple – the Catholic Church collects the almost one and a half million euros thrown annually into the Trevi Fountain. In fact, city council staff have to remove the money every day as the volume of coins is so great! T

he beneficiary – a charity called Caritas – then uses the donations to fill soup kitchens with food and donate to hospitals and other good causes.

The controversy over the Trevi Fountain

The donations are not without their own source of scandal. The Mayor of Rome claimed recently that the money landing in the fountain (almost four thousand euros every day) should go to the city as a whole, and not a religious organisation.

It is true that Rome’s infrastructure could do with a bit of help. Councillors in support of the change claim that the street service needs additional assistance, especially on potholes and rubbish collection. That has of course caused its’ fair share of debate between supporters of the council and religious leaders.

trevi fountain facts coins cleaning

Best time to Visit the Trevi Fountain

This is a super popular attraction. It is free (aside from whatever you throw in) and a photographic gem, so expect people – and lots of them.

Very early in the morning – I am talking dawn and sunrise here – seems to be the best bet, and will give you some great lighting for your photographs.

Others claim that late at night is another great time to visit the Trevi Fountain, however you will find the area busy until well after midnight.

trevi fountain facts morning

How to get to the Trevi Fountain ?


00187 Rome Piazza di Trevi

Metro – Barberini

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