Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Tuesday 28 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Wenceslaus
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

Trevi Fountain “wishing coins” answer prayers of the homeless


Joseph Enric | CC BY SA 2.0

J-P Mauro - published on 04/05/18

Tourists who throw coins will become "protagonists for change" for the city's poor.

There is a long-standing tradition that when visiting the Trevi Fountain in Rome, tourists will turn around and make a wish before tossing a coin over their shoulder into the water. Now, Rome’s city council has decided that these coins, $1.7 million worth in 2016, will be going toward food and shelter for the city’s poor.

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

An agreement was reached between the city council and Caritas Rome, a Catholic relief organization that was previously the beneficiary of these coins. While Caritas Rome has been doing good work with this income for the last 20 years, the city’s recent economic difficulties have led the council to find funds where they can for public service projects.

The decision was delayed until the end of 2018, at which point the city will take control over the process of gathering coins from the fountain using high-powered vacuums.

The decision was welcomed by the director of Caritas Rome, Msgr. Enrico Feroci, who said it, “concretely expresses the solidarity of the whole city of Rome toward those who suffer and are disadvantaged.”

The Boston Pilot reports:

By trusting Caritas Rome with the money collected from the Trevi Fountain, he added, the Rome city council has recognized that the Catholic charity has a special and unique history in the city in “reaching out and encountering the most diverse forms of poverty,” particularly in serving the homeless, the elderly, migrants and struggling families. “Responsibility, transparency, a spirit of service and witness: These are the attitudes that have guided us in these years in which the city of Rome has entrusted the proceeds of the Trevi Fountain coins to Caritas,” Msgr. Feroci said. While many tourists make a wish to return to the Eternal City one day, Msgr. Feroci said the funds they unknowingly contribute allow them to join the Catholic charity in becoming “protagonists of change” for the city’s poor.
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
The Sinai Peninsula and the Dead Sea Rift
J-P Mauro
Experts now believe Sodom was destroyed by a meteor
J-P Mauro
Chicago architect models Vatican City from 67,000 LEGO bricks
Fr. Michael Rennier
The purpose of life according to J.R.R. Tolkien
Giovanna Binci
He’s autistic, she has Down syndrome, and they’re wonderfully hap...
crisis man
Marzena Devoud
Advice from 3 monks for overcoming acedia
Bret Thoman, OFS
Exclusive photos: Meet Padre Pio and the place he lived
Christ and the woman taken in adultery
Daniel Esparza
What Jesus wrote
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.