Who gets all those coins, anyway?
On Monday, it was reported that Rome’s city council was in a quarrel with the Roman Catholic Church over what would come of the coins tossed into the Trevi Fountain.
Typically, visitors sling a coin into the fountain (while their backs are turned to it) with hopes that they will return to Rome and find love. Almost €1.5 million ($1.7 million) is collected every year from the attraction and given to a Catholic charity to help the poor and homeless. However, a recently leaked document suggested that Rome’s mayor, Virginia Raggi, and her team were looking toward keeping the money so that it could be used to improve the city’s infrastructure.
Shortly after the news broke, however, mayor Virginia Raggi cleared up any confusion and claimed that the money will indeed continue to be given to local charity Caritas Roma, which helps support Rome’s poor and homeless communities. “I personally guarantee that this administration will never take away its contribution,” Raggi said in a statement to the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.
Raggi’s administration first suggested that the money be used to support the city’s infrastructure in 2017, but the proposal was promptly shut down by members of the church.
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In 2001, mayor Francesco Rutelli halted any private taking of coins from the Trevi. The collected money given to the charity goes toward supporting soup kitchens, shelters, and any other efforts that might have a positive impact on Rome’s poverty-stricken communities.
Caritas Roma, which was founded in 1971, released a Facebook post that addressed the issue and assured the local community that the collected money is going to a just, rightful cause.
According to legend, tossing one coin into the Trevi Fountain means you’ll return to The Eternal City (Rome), tossing two coins means you’ll return and fall in love, and tossing three coins means you’ll return, find love, and marry. Luck or no luck, your money goes to a good cause.