The Italian Almanac

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Trevi fountain

Italian News - November 15

Four people were arrested on Monday for stealing coins from the Trevi Fountain, the famous Roman landmark they had been hired to clean. Every day thousands of tourists throw coins into Bernini's baroque fountain in the hope that this will ensure their return to the Eternal City, a legend made popular in the film 'Three Coins in the Fountain'. The coins are regularly collected and then given to charity.

The four arrested, aged between 18 and 50, were employees of the firm sub-contracted to clean the fountain. They were arrested soon after the job and were still in possession of some 1,200 euros in coins.

The fountain is one of the most famous in the world, not least because of Anita Ekberg's celebrated dip in its waters during the 1959 Federico Fellini movie La Dolce Vita. Designed to replace an older fountain dating back to the 1450s, it was created by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Pietro da Cortona in the 17th century but was not completed until a century later, around 1751 when Nicola Salvi was commissioned to finish the work

The fountain is the final outlet for the Aqua Virgo, the only Roman aqueduct which is still in use today thanks to constant repair work over the centuries.