Visiting Rome without throwing a coin into Trevi Fountain is like never going at all, but have you ever wondered how this tradition started, what does it mean – and what happens with all those coins once you leave Italy?
Legend has it you should throw a coin into the fountain over your left shoulder using your right hand if you want to return to Rome one day. This tradition has been around ever since Trevi Fountain was built in 1762, but it was popularized by the 1954 film Three Coins in the Fountain.
It’s certainly a nice tradition, but the best part is that you’re actually doing a good deed by throwing coins inside. The money collected inside the baroque fountain is given to local charity Caritas, which supports Rome’s poor and homeless communities, by subsidizing a supermarket for people in need.
The amount of money thrown into a fountain varies year by year, but it’s estimated that 3,000 euros end up in Trevi Fountain every day. The sum is certainly substantial, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that it’s officially illegal to steal the coins from the fountain.