If you visited Rome, you’re probably familiar with the old habit of tossing coins into the Trevi Fountain. This habit has become even more familiar due to the legendary movies Three Coins in the Fountain and When in Rome. As you read in one of our recent articles, overtourism is plaguing the city, so the city’s mayor has taken yet another measure to protect their historic heritage: he announced he plans to build a barrier around the baroque landmark.
Virgina Raggi, mayor of Rome wrote in a Facebook message: “The Capitoline Assembly approved a motion presented by the Five-Star Movement [political party] to recreate protective barriers around the Trevi Fountain,” and completed: “It seems to me the most common-sense proposal to protect one of the most important and visited monuments in Rome.” The message was written on the 25th of January.
Do you wonder what the end aim is? The mayor hopes to solve the crowd control issues at the fountain and prevent bad behavior by tourists – some of whom had been jumping into the water – and preserve the fountain which has been damaged by people sitting on it.
The plan was not received as expected, there were those arguing that altering the historic masterpiece would tarnish its authenticity. The mayor affirms the fountain’s authenticity will not be altered, as “It would be a barrier similar to those already made for many other fountains in Rome, like the Fontana delle Tartarughe in the Piazza Mattei. It is a solution that would not obscure the view of the Trevi Fountain and would allow the traditional tossing of coins, a ritual for anyone visiting our city.”
Brandon Shaw, co-owner and chief product officer at The Tour Guy, which runs Rome tours under The Roman Guy declares: “The barriers impede people from entering the fountains themselves without affecting the visual perspective,”. Furthermore, “it also can ensure that people don’t get hurt as sometimes they try and climb on top of the fountain.”
The company’s tours will not be affected as its guides talk about the fountain from the peripheral area overlooking it and visitors can still go down and throw a coin without any major “visual hindrance.”
Designed by Nicola Salvi, built by Giuseppe Pannini, and completed in 1762, the fountain was a continuous work in progress. Mayor Raggi also added that they will increase the number of police to ensure that the entire square where the Trevi Fountain is located will remain an enjoyable experience for visitors.
“The Trevi Fountain is the most beautiful fountain in the world,” Shaw says. “It is monumental in size, but was designed in such a way so as to not feel too imposing. It is also quite hidden, so you walk through some narrow roads and then, seemingly out of nowhere, you encounter a beautiful piece of artwork.”
Have you had the chance to visit the Trevi Fountain? Would you visit it again? What do you think makes it unique?