The Fate of Coins Tossed into Rome’s Trevi Fountain Revealed in Pictures


When visitors toss their coins into Rome’s magnificent Trevi Fountain, they are not only making wishes for love, good health, or a return to the Eternal City – they are also providing practical assistance to those in need. For centuries, tourists have taken part in the ritual of throwing coins into the fountain without much consideration. However, today those coins are collected and donated to Caritas, a global Catholic charity organization in Rome.

In 2022, Caritas collected 1.4 million euros ($1.5m) from the fountain, with expectations of gathering even more in 2023. Signs around the fountain inform tourists that their change will go to charity, a realization that pleases many visitors. The coins are used to fund a food bank, soup kitchen, and welfare projects, helping those less fortunate in Rome.

The Trevi Fountain, completed in 1762, is a popular spot for tourists to pose for photos and make wishes. Legend has it that if you throw a coin into the fountain, you will return to Rome. Tourists eagerly toss in their coins, hoping for their wishes to come true.

While the fountain may be off-limits for wading and tourists face fines if they do so, workers from a regional utility company are tasked with collecting the coins twice a week. The coins are then taken to Caritas’s office, where they are dried and used to support those in need.

Not only do coins get fished from the fountain, but workers have also found items like jewellery, dentures, religious medals, and even umbilical cords. Caritas’s supermarket, known as the Emporium, helps provide food to needy residents who can purchase it with tokens on a card.

As the coins continue to stack up in the Trevi Fountain, tourists like Yuting from China toss in their coins, believing that their wishes will come true. The tradition of making a wish at the fountain lives on, bringing hope to both tourists and those in need in Rome.


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