Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Sunday 01 August |
Saint of the Day: St. Alphonsus Liguori
home iconInspiring Stories
line break icon

Tourists toss more than $1.5 million into Rome’s Trevi Fountain

Roncoa | CC

Zelda Caldwell - published on 04/21/17

...and it all goes to help the poor.

At Rome’s Trevi Fountain, the coin you toss in goes to help the needy, and it’s no drop in the bucket. Last year, more than $1.5 million collected went to Rome’s poor.

For tourists visiting Rome, tossing a coin into the the Trevi Fountain is as much a bucket-list experience as seeing the Colosseum or the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel. Legend has it that if you use your right hand to throw a coin over your left shoulder, you will one day return to the Eternal City.

According to the German press agency DPA, last year’s haul topped that of 2013 (the last year for which figures are available, due to the recent 18-month closure and refurbishing of the fountain) by 100,000 euros ($107,685).

Why the increase in tossed coins? Perhaps it has something to do with the increasing popularity of social media because the Trevi Fountain, like the Unicorn Frappuccino, was apparently made for Instagram.

The coin-tossing ritual has its roots in an ancient Roman legend, but became popular following release of the 1954 romantic comedy Three Coins in the Fountain.

Each day, between 6 and 7 a.m., the Baroque fountain — really just one part of a massive waterworks — is turned off, and more than 3,000 euros (about $3,225) worth of coins are swept up and collected. Where does all of that money go? The charity Caritas collects it and subsidizes a low-cost grocery story for Rome’s needy.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Bianca Mercuri (@bianca_mercuri31)

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
Gold-winning Filipina Olympian shares her Miraculous Medal for th...
Cerith Gardiner
Simone Biles leaves the Olympics with an important lesson for her...
Mathilde De Robien
Did you know Princess Di was buried with a rosary?
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
Theresa Civantos Barber
The one thing we all should do before this summer ends
Zelda Caldwell
German women’s gymnastics teams modest dress protests sport’s ...
Lauren Daigle
J-P Mauro
After 3 years Lauren Daigle ousts herself from #1 Billboard spot
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.