What Happens To The Coins In The Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy, is a beloved icon and tourist attraction in the city. Every day, thousands of people flock to the Trevi Fountain to toss coins in its waters, with more than €3,000 being thrown in each day. While many people believe the coins tossed into the fountain make a wish come true, this isn’t the only purpose served by the coins. The funds collected in the Trevi Fountain are used to support incredible charities and help transform the lives of those in need.

To understand how and where the money from the Trevi Fountain goes, it helps to know a bit about the history of the fountain. The Trevi Fountain was completed in 1762 and according to a legend, those who throw a coin in the fountain are sure to return to the Eternal City. During the dictatorship of Mussolini, the money from the Trevi Fountain was used to help fund the building of Rome.

In the modern day, the coins in the Trevi Fountain are collected daily and estimated to be about €3,000 each day, or €1.2 million per year. The money is collected by the Rome Water Company and is used to fund food programs and other charitable causes. For example, in 2018 the coins were used to fund a soup kitchen in Rome called “Caritas”, to help those in need.

The coins are not only used to support local charitable projects. In fact, part of the money collected in the Trevi Fountain is sent abroad to help those in need all over the world. For example, some of the coins collected in the Trevi Fountain have been donated to aid the refugee crisis.

The current system used to collect and use the coins in the Trevi Fountain hasn’t been in place forever. Before 2001, individuals were allowed to dive in the fountain and retrieve the coins themselves in a bucket. This presented a safety hazard, as well as risks to the statues in the fountain and caused a lot of disruption.

In 2001, the mayor of Rome implemented a system that digitally collects the coins from a vent in the fountain, with two workers emptying the collection box every morning and a third supervised by the police. This system is much safer and it also protects the statues within the fountain and the environment.

Scientific Research

The interest in the Trevi Fountain has prompted scientific and scholarly research into its historical roots and the economic and environmental effects of the coins within it. Scientists have discovered that the coins deposited in the fountain each year are worth thousands of euros and that the fountain is in fact one of the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly sources of charity donations.

For example, a study conducted by The University of Rome and published in 2013 concluded that the coins deposited in the Trevi Fountain had a net value of 2.1 million euros per year and are an important source of funding for charitable causes in Rome, as well as abroad.

In addition to the economic aspects, scientists have also studied the environmental impact of the coins in the Trevi Fountain, with one study finding that the coins do not have any significant adverse impact on the environment. In fact, the same study found that the coins actually help with the cleaning of the water, as they act as a filter that removes large particles.

Environmental Preservation

The coins thrown in the Trevi Fountain may be helping the environment in a more significant way than previously thought. Recent studies have suggested that the coins may be helping to preserve the archaeological heritage of the fountain by providing a mineral barrier for the stonework of the monument. The coins act like a patina and help protect the marble from the elements and even from human contact.

Though some experts have argued that the coins may actually be damaging the monument due to the corrosion of the coins, the Italian Ministry of Culture has stated that there is no significant scientific evidence to support that claim. In fact, the Ministry has stated that the coins do not have any adverse effects on the fountain and have even stated that they serve as an important source of funding for the preservation of the monument.

Conservation Efforts

Though the coins in the fountain are important in helping raise funds for charitable causes, they also require attention and conservation efforts to keep them in good condition. The coins in the Trevi Fountain are made of bronze, iron, and copper and need to be properly conserved to ensure that they remain in good condition.

The coins are removed once a week and shipped to a specialized laboratory for conservation. After the coins are cleaned, they are then sent back to the fountain and placed in the vent. The coins are collected again after two to three months, depending on how many coins are in the fountain. This is an important part of preserving the coins, as well as the Trevi Fountain itself, and ensures that the coins can be reused as long as possible.

Impact on Local Economy

The coins thrown in the Trevi Fountain not only help support charitable causes around the world, but they also have an impact on the local economy. Since the coins are collected daily, there is a need for staff to sort, clean and ship the coins to their destination. This creates jobs in the local economy and helps to support the locals in the area.

In addition, the coins also help to draw in tourists to the area, who in turn spend money in local shops and businesses. This provides a much needed boost to the local economy and helps to create and sustain jobs in the area.

Coin Collectors

The coins thrown in the Trevi Fountain do not only end up in charitable causes or conservation efforts, some of them also end up in the hands of coin collectors. Though it is not legal, there is a small but active community of coin collectors who hunt for the coins in the fountain and attempt to claim them for their personal collections.

However, these coin collectors can find it hard to compete with the official coin collectors, as the money is collected daily, often before the collectors can even arrive. In addition, gaining access to the fountain can be difficult, as there is always a police presence that prevents anyone from entering the fountain without permission.

Security Risks

Though the coins in the Trevi Fountain are typically used for charitable and conservation efforts, they can become a security issue if not handled properly. Since the coins are collected at night, it means that the funds have to be stored somewhere safe until they can be used. This can be difficult, as the money needs to be stored in a secure place in order to ensure that it is not stolen.

In addition, the security of the coin collectors also needs to be taken into consideration. As the coins are collected in the middle of the night, it is important that the coin collectors are kept safe from any potential criminals. To address this, the collectors are typically accompanied by police officers at all times, ensuring that no one is able to interfere with the collection of the coins.


The coins thrown in the Trevi Fountain not only help people make a wish and possibly return to Rome, but they also serve an important purpose in terms of charitable causes and conservation efforts. The funds collected are used to help people in need both in Rome and abroad and to protect and preserve the fountain itself. Despite the fact that some of the coins end up in the hands of coin collectors, the coins still serve an important purpose in the area and have helped to support the local economy.

Herman Shaw is a passionate traveler and avid photographer who has seen many of the world's most awe-inspiring monuments. He has developed expertise in various aspects of world architecture and culture which he enjoys sharing with his readers. With deep historical knowledge and insight, Herman's writing brings life to these remarkable artifacts and highlights their importance in the grand scheme of human history.

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