Currents News Staff
While tourists ritually throw coins into the Trevi Fountain, in hopes of one day returning to Rome, many do not know that for the past 18 years, all these coins went to help the poor. Yet, up until today, it was undecided if this should continue.
In 2018 alone, $1.7 million is the amount of money collected from Trevi Fountain. This tradition has made a huge impact by funding Caritas charity’s homeless shelters, soup kitchens and other services for the needy in the city.
However, a rumor was confirmed in December that Rome’s mayor, Virginia Raggi wanted to instead use the money for the city itself. It’s something Caritas’ director calls a “misunderstanding.”
“In the past few days it seems as if there has perhaps been a misunderstanding. We as Caritas Rome, waited for details from the city, with respect to what was published earlier this year. We were waiting, and all that was published in newspapers, which attracted attention. There were questions directed at the city, and even to us. But we waited until the city itself clarified what it meant. All these clarifications arrived yesterday through the mayor,” said Fr. Benoni Ambarus, Director of Caritas Rome.
Additionally, he said he received a phone call from the city of Rome Tuesday morning clarifying that the money would in fact go to them. It’s an idea many tourists agree with.
“What it should go to is people who don’t have a lot of money, that’s just my personal opinion. I would expect that it goes to charity and I think it probably should go to charity as well,” he said.
Additionally, the mayor of Rome confirmed that not only would Caritas receive the money from the Trevi Fountain, but from all the fountains in the city. It is news that Caritas confirms as a gift.
“We received the news with great joy and satisfaction. Not for us, but for the people we could help,” said Ambarus.
The only change, according to the city of Rome, is that ACEA, the fountain cleaning services, will be the ones to collect and count the funds, instead of the Catholic Church’s charity, Caritas.