Coin-tossing at Trevi Fountain


The Fontana di Trevi – or Trevi Fountain in English – is a fountain in Rome, Italy. It is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the top must-sees of tourists when in Rome.

A traditional legend holds that if visitors throw a coin into the fountain, they are ensured a return to Rome. You will have to throw it over your head using your right hand for it to work. Due to our dependency on the media, today’s legend is inspired by the film “Three Coins in the Trevi Fountain” which dictates that the first coin thrown guarantees your return to Rome, the second leads to a new romance, while the third leads you to your marriage/”the one”. I threw the three coins – let’s see if the legend holds true then.

This fountain has been standing since the 15th century and it marks the ending destination of the Aqua Virgo, a manmade channel that brought fresh water to Roman bathhouses. Back then, there were about three thousand fountains in the whole of Rome. Plans were made to embellish the Trevi Fountain and sketches from Bernini, Salvi and Pannini had made the final cut. Today’s Fontana di Trevi that we see was designed by architect Nicola Salvi and completed in 1762.

With its 65 feet wide and 85 feet high structure, the fountain is magnificent and distracts you from the hustle and bustle of Rome. The sounds of the cascading water bring me to a time where Romans orate and wore toga tops (how commercialized, I know) rather than get assaulted by the camera flashes and clicking of shutters. Yes. The fountain will always be crowded and there are tourists who can be seen throwing coins to the second. Apparently, there’s over 3,000 coins thrown a day and cleaners have to fish up the coins daily. The collected euro coins are donated to the poor through the organization, Caritas.  In the day, the Trevi Fountain is a white-washed picture of grandiosity but at night, the lights that glow seem to emanate romance, burning youthful dreams and varying passions.

They say that the Paris is the city of love (the fact that it is the first city of light and hence equated with love due to its beautiful Parisian streets), but I find that in Rome, it is a city of eternal love. Imagine cobbled paths that are thousands of years old, monuments, architecture and infrastructures that have stood through time and two world wars – this city entices you to fall in love with its mysteries and secrets. And I love, to an extremity, mysteries and secrets.

Photo credits to Tan Yuan Hong, who I happened to travel with to a few places while we were both in Europe.

One thought on “Coin-tossing at Trevi Fountain

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