«

»

Print this Post

What Happens to that Coin You Tossed in the Trevi Fountain?

If you’ve been to Rome, you’ve probably tossed a coin into the Trevi Fountain like thousands of other visitors do every single day. The tradition gained popularity after it was the theme of the 1954 romantic comedy Three Coins in the Fountain, but it started long before the movie. Originally, it was said that a thirst quenching glass of water from the Trevi Fountain would ensure good fortune and a fast return to the Eternal City. Over time the legend of the Trevi Fountain evolved to tossing a coin in to ensure a return to Rome.
Trevi FountainThe precise legend of the Trevi Fountain says you should stand with your back to the fountain and toss a coin over your left shoulder to guarantee a return trip to Rome. I tossed my first coin in to the Trevi Fountain in precisely this manner with my friend Jess in 2006 and returned to Rome less than one year later. Of course I tossed another coin in to the fountain on that return trip in 2007, and while my next return to Rome wasn’t as speedy as after my first coin toss, I did move to Italy a mere two years later.

Bonus Legend: There is a miniature fountain on the left side of the Trevi Fountain. Legend says that if a couple drinks from the “small fountain of lovers”, they will be forever faithful to their partner.

After tossing my coin, I turned around and observed the thousands of international coins glittering in the fountain. As coin after coin plopped into the Baroque masterpiece and sank to the bottom, I wondered exactly what happened to what must a small fortune.

Trevi Fountain

Tossing my coin in the Trevi Fountain in 2006

It turns out that there’s an even better reason to toss your coin into the Trevi Fountain than just wishing for a return trip to Rome. Each day the gushing torrents of the Trevi Fountain are silenced for one hour while city workers sweep the coins from the fountain. Since 2006, the year I tossed my own first coin into the Trevi Fountain, the Roman Catholic charity Caritas has been sorting and cleaning the daily loot from the fountain.

Caritas runs food and social programs for the needy and oppressed in 200 countries and territories worldwide. Somewhere around €3000 is collected nightly from the Trevi Fountain (about $1.26 million annually) and distributes it amongst the needy. Caritas even opened a low-cost supermarket in Rome in 2008 for the needy.

So while you think you’re just doing something romantic while partaking in the coin-toss legend of the Trevi Fountain, you also helped the needy. Maybe on your return visit, you’ll toss in an extra coin or two. I know I will!

This post was featured on BuzzFeed in the article 36 Interesting Facts That Will Make You Want to Travel.

Jennifer Dombrowski

Jennifer Dombrowski is a location independent globe trotter who is based in Prata di Pordenone, Italy. She works as a social media and communications strategist and is an award-winning travel writer. She is also a travel correspondent on Traveling on the American Forces Radio Network. Jdomb's Travels was named one of the top travel blogs to watch by the Huffington Post and has been featured by top publications such as CNN, Buzzfeed , and The Telegraph. Her iPhoneograpy has also been featured on publications such as USA Today and Travel + Leisure. Google+

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle PlusStumbleUponYouTube

Did you enjoy this article?
Share
the
Love
Get Free Updates

Permanent link to this article: http://jdombstravels.com/legend-of-the-trevi-fountain/

25 comments

8 pings

Skip to comment form

  1. Stef

    How great that they donate the money of the fountain, I didn’t know that before. One more reason to toss a coin in the fountain!!

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    It is terrific that the money goes to charity and to a good cause. It makes you feel good about tossing your coin in!

    [Reply]

  2. Sue Sharpe

    I have not visited Rome (yet!) but I have occasionally wondered what happened to all the coins. How wonderful to find out that they are used for such a worthy cause!

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    Indeed, Sue! I would bet most people didn’t know their coin was helping to feed and clothe the needy.

    [Reply]

  3. Heather

    I’ve been to Rome twice and tossed a coin into Trevi Fountain both times. Hope to make a third visit in 2015 and am now even more excited to through in my coin!

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    Hope you make it back in 2015, Heather!

    [Reply]

  4. memographer

    I tossed my coin 5 years ago… still don’t plan the second trip to Rome :)
    $1.26 million annually sounds impressive!

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    It’s been about 3 years since our last visit to Rome and we’re just a few hours from the Eternal City. I’m sure you’ll make it back someday!

    [Reply]

  5. Jessica

    Interesting! My dad visited Rome in the 70s and threw a coin in Trevi Fountain, and I visited about 2 years ago. It’s good to know that my wish was put towards something good. I wonder what happened to the coins before 2006?

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    I’ve heard that before the money started going to Caritas, that two families controlled the cleaning of the fountain and split the money. I have no idea if that is true or not, but I’m glad the money goes to a good cause now!

    [Reply]

  6. Aleah | SolitaryWanderer.com

    I tossed a coin too. Hope the legend is true so I can go back :)

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    We hope you make it back someday, Aleah! Rome is a great city!

    [Reply]

  7. Adam Ross

    Wow that is an interesting fact! Now at least people can really tell where their coins are going. If it would not bring luck to them or grant their wishes, at least they can help have other people’s (in needs) wishes granted.

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    Very true! There is reason to toss a coin in to the fountain even if you don’t hope to return to Rome.

    [Reply]

  8. Adelina

    Wow, I had no idea! But its cool to know that all those coins are put to good use.

    [Reply]

  9. Travel with Bender

    I tossed my coin in 2001! I am headed back finally this year. More importantly when I was there we were told the Legend of the Virgin. That is if you drink the water you will be made a virgin again… Must of made me some kind of power-virgin haha. When I was there, there was a small hole in the wall to the right where water flowed that you could drink – I don't recommend actually drinking from the actual fountain :D

    [Reply]

  10. Erin Bender (Travel With Bender)

    I tossed my coin in 2001! I am headed back finally this year. More importantly when I was there we were told the Legend of the Virgin. That is if you drink the water you will be made a virgin again… Must of made me some kind of power-virgin haha. When I was there, there was a small hole in the wall to the right where water flowed that you could drink – I don’t recommend actually drinking from the actual fountain :D

    [Reply]

  11. Andrea

    I have not had my return trip to Rome yet but here’s hoping!

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    It sounds like you are due then, Andrea! Though don’t come now. It’s too hot.

    [Reply]

  12. Penny Sadler

    I've tossed many coins into that fountain and it's never failed me. :)

    [Reply]

  13. Larissa Milne

    I have in fact wondered exactly that! Thanks for sharing: a win-win for all :)

    [Reply]

  14. Ali

    I read about this a month or so before our trip, so awesome that the money in the fountain is put to a good charitable cause!

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    I had to do quite a bit of research to find out what exactly happens to the coins. But very glad it does go to charity!

    [Reply]

  15. Victor Tribunsky

    3 000 € in a day! Wow!
    Why am I not the owner of this fountain?!
    Jennifer, it is very interesting blog post, I have read it with please.
    Next time in Rome, I’ll toss my coin too.

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    Thanks, Victor! Indeed, it’s hard to imagine Italy’s economy is struggling when so much is being thrown into the Trevi Fountain each day.

    [Reply]

  16. David Ghosh

    It is an amazing gesture to toss a coin in the water of Trevi Fountain to dream next trip there.
    Anyway,it is very good idea and the money goes to charity or money utilized to maintain such a historical fountain in Italy. May God bless you to drop more coins in to the water there.

    David Ghosh at davidaghosh@vsnl.net

    [Reply]

  17. David Ghosh

    Me again, it is so lovely to know, Fendi for Fountain, Fendi Fashion House in Italy is investing lot of nickel for restoring and restoring the world famous Trevi Fountain.
    My heartfelt THANKS goes to CEO & people of Fendi Fashion House.

    David Ghosh at davidaghosh@vsnl.net

    [Reply]

  18. Lori

    My last visit to Rome was in 1964, and I tossed a coin into the Fountain de Trevi. Will be returning this September 2014. Yes!! It works!!

    [Reply]

  1. MOTOism: Living on Deadlines « Umami Mart

    […] you, we didn’t throw in coins, since we were NOT planning on coming back. It was pretty, but not pretty enough to merit a return visit. And the fountain was so hard to […]

  2. Why We Throw Coins Into Fountains | Steph's Random Facts

    […] Legend of the Trevi Fountain […]

  3. 36 Interesting Facts That Will Make You Want To Travel | Bringing the best news to the People

    […] lasts around 16 hours and covers approximately 8,500 miles. 34. All the money that is tossed into Rome’s Trevi Fountain is collected each night and donated to multiple charities. 35. The largest hotel in the world is […]

  4. Rad Travel 36 Interesting Facts That Will Make You Want To Travel » Rad Travel

    […] lasts around 16 hours and covers approximately 8,500 miles. 34. All the money that is tossed into Rome’s Trevi Fountain is collected each night and donated to multiple charities. 35. The largest hotel in the world is […]

  5. Is It Time To Ban The Love Lock? | Angloitalian Follow Us!

    […] forever and are committed to love each other forever. Others comment that the lock is akin to throwing money into the Trevi Fountain in Rome which gives the thrower of which good fortune and a ‘guarantee‘ that one day […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>