Rome's Trevi Fountain Could Soon Be Off-Limits To Tourists. Here's Why

Rome's Trevi Fountain, which achieved cinematic notoriety in a number of high-profile films, may lose part of its allure as a tourist attraction, while civic authorities mull over its fate. Because of overcrowding, vandalism, and overall poor behavior on behalf of visitors, a motion sits in front of City Council to create a barrier surrounding the legendary aquatic monument.

The proposal comes on behalf of Andrea Coia who heads the business committee of the municipal government, stressing a barricade of sorts is necessary to prevent tourists from sitting on its ledge and save the structure from any additional damage.

3 Physical Contact

New York Times

It's become common practice for site visitors to scratch their initials into the stone foundation that walls the fountain. Recently, some intoxicated Australians were seen pouring their alcohol concoctions into the fountain, while an American woman was caught taking a dip in the water. It's that type of activity that is reportedly disgusting business owners in the area and local residents up in arms.

Coia's proposal states that a barrier would detract visitors from any physical contact with the fountain, freeing police up from having to pull visitors out of the fountain all the time. "Rome is one of the richest cities for culture in the world, and a heritage like this must be respected and protected," cites part of Coia's motion. "We need to favor a more respectful kind of tourism in the city's symbolic places."

2 Tourist Draw

Fodor Travel Guide

Trevi Fountain has been a major tourist draw for decades, sparked by the movie Three Coins in the Fountain, in which three single women take up on the myth that throwing currency over their shoulders would guarantee a husband. That good luck tradition of continues to be a regular ritual, given that city officials retrieve about $3,300 from the waters daily. Coffers from the fountain are then donated to charity.

More famously, the fountain was a backdrop in one famous scene of Federico Fellini's 1960 classic film La Dolce Vita that saw a fully-clothed Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg splash around in the water. That movie moment is often the motivation for tourists to do the same in real life.

1 Disney Replica


So far, city council hasn't responded to the motion. But if measures are in place to reduce access to the structure, take heart. Folks might be able to cavort in a replica of the Trevi at Walt Disney World in Florida.

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