Where do the coins thrown into Rome’s Trevi Fountain go?

Pièces dans la Fontaine de Trevi, Rome

What happens to coins thrown into Rome’s Trevi Fountain? As well as making a wish, throwing a coin into the water will make you a good person!

The idea of throwing a coin into a fountain and making a wish has become something of a commonplace, but it’s particularly romantic to do it at Rome’s Trevi Fountain.

Indeed, it’s a legend that prompts millions of tourists to throw a coin over their shoulder into the Trevi Fountain. But what happens to the coins? As you’d expect, a mountain of coins has formed in the basin over the years. Here’s a look at where these coins end up, collected several times a week by city employees…

By the way, why do people throw coins into Rome’s Trevi Fountain?

Fontaine de Trevi, Rome

Photo credit: Flickr – daisy.images

The legend comes from the film « The Fountain of Love » (1954): throw a coin (with your back to the basin) into the famous Trevi Fountain, considered the most beautiful Baroque fountain in all of Italy, and you’ll be sure to visit Rome again.

The legend goes even further, saying that if you throw two coins instead of one, you’ll be sure to find love, and three will get you married.

But where do the coins from the Trevi Fountain go?

The Trevi Fountain may seem like a tourist attraction, but millions of visitors flock to this mid-18th-century landmark every year to take part in the tradition. In fact, the fountain fills up so quickly with coins that Rome’s city employees sweep the bottom of the basin every evening to collect the day’s booty.

1.4 million euros collected each year in the famous fountain

During 2016, 1.4 million euros were raised and donated to Caritas, a Catholic charity that supports global causes related to health, disaster relief, poverty and migration.

Every day, €3,835 is thrown into the Trevi Fountain – that’s €26,923 a week!

A well-supervised routine at the Trevi Fountain

Every morning, before the tourists arrive, the water flow is cut off. The fountain is cleaned with a brush, and the coins are collected with long poles and vacuumed up under police supervision.

The coins collected are cleaned, weighed, counted and delivered to Caritas. The organization uses the money for a number of charitable initiatives: 27% of the amount recovered is used to finance a free supermarket for families in difficulty, 32% to finance social integration programs, 8% for Caritas canteens and 31% for its shelters.

Pièces ramassées dans la fontaine de Trevi à Rome

Before being vacuumed, the coins are collected in the center of the Trevi Fountain – Photo credit: meridian.net

In 2005, €500,000 a year was collected in the fountain. By 2016, that number had almost tripled to €1.4 million. But money isn’t the only thing to be found in the fountain. Among the coins are often other items such as glasses, key rings, religious medallions and even dentures, according to a member of the Caritas association.

Pièces ramassées dans la fontaine de Trevi à Rome

The coins are then collected and placed in bags under police surveillance – Photo credit: meridian.net

More about the Trevi Fountain

Originally designed by Nicola Salvi and completed in 1762 by Giuseppe Pannini, the Trevi Fountain took three decades to build and measures 26 meters high and 50 meters wide. Its name derives from the three streets – « tre vie » in Italian – that lead to the fountain: Via Dei Crocicchi, Via Poli and Via Delle Muratte.

The fountain was renovated in 2015 at a cost of €2 million, financed by Italian fashion group Fendi. LED lighting was added, and the marble facade, which depicts the mythological figures of the Ocean, Abundance and Salubrity, was restored.

Access to the Trevi Fountain is free, but if you’re planning to visit Rome’s other monuments, such as the Colosseum, the Roman Forum or the Vatican, don’t hesitate to book your visits online and in advance on our site! This will help you avoid queues and save time during your stay in Rome.

With dimensions of 20 meters wide and 26 meters high, the Trevi Fountain is also the largest fountain in Rome.

How do I get to the Trevi Fountain in Rome?

Located in the heart of the city in Piazza di Trevi, near the Pantheon and Piazza di Spagna, the Trevi Fountain can be reached via the Barberini Metro station or one of the many nearby bus routes (52, 62, 63, 71 80, 83, 116…).

Main photo credit: Flickr – Michael Matti