The famous Roman Trevi Fountain was built in 1732-1762. designed by architect Nicolo Salvi. Trevi is the largest fountain in Rome, more than 25 meters high and almost 50 meters wide. It quickly became one of the main attractions of the "eternal city".
At the beginning of the twentieth century, German tourists became the founders of an interesting tradition: those who want to visit Rome again must turn their backs to the fountain and throw a coin into the water. And if you throw two coins, then a person is waiting for a date of love, three coins - a wedding, four - wealth, and five - separation. Considering that millions of tourists visit Rome every year, it is not surprising that very decent sums accumulate in the Trevi Fountain. For example, in 2017 the total catch was about € 1, 400, 000.
True, not everyone agrees that the Germans started this tradition in Rome. Some believe that it appeared in the fifties after the release of the Hollywood movie Three Coins in the Fountain. Three American women who came to Rome threw a coin at Trevi, hoping for luck.
The right to collect money from the fountain was given to the charitable organization "Caritas Romana", which finances many projects: maintaining canteens for the homeless, helping people in difficult situations, and so on. Coins from the Trevi Fountain make up a significant part of the organization's budget.
The agreement between the City Council of Rome and Caritas Romana was concluded for a period of 20 years. At the same time, the city authorities probably did not expect that the fountain would become such a profitable place, therefore, more than once they raised the question that the agreement should be terminated ahead of schedule, and the money should be sent to finance the improvement of Rome.
The Italian newspaper "La Repubblica" even conducted a study - which coins are most often found at the bottom of the Trevi fountain. It turned out that the most popular coins are euros and US dollars. Quite often, tourists throw in Japanese yen and Australian dollars. In addition to coins, generous visitors throw medallions, bracelets, keys into the water. Probably in the hope that these items will bring them good luck.
Naturally, there are those who want not only to throw some valuables into the fountain, but also to fish them out of there. Several years ago, the Roman police detained a 50-year-old woman. The former dancer tried to explain that her financial affairs left much to be desired, she tried to raise money to buy textbooks for her children. She managed to collect very little - only 18 euros.
Despite such a modest prize, the woman was forced to pay an impressive € 1, 500 fine. This case became the reason for numerous complaints to the court - after all, the money thrown into the fountain no longer has an owner, therefore, collecting coins cannot be considered an offense. The judges confirmed that henceforth anyone can “catch” coins in Trevi without fear of a fine.
The city authorities of Rome categorically disagree with this decision, arguing that everyone who dares to profit from ownerless coins should be punished. And they even installed round-the-clock security for the lucrative fountain.