Tossing a Coin in Trevi Fountain: Exploring the Myths and Rituals


Buongiorno and welcome to Stefano’s RomeCabs!  The Trevi Fountain is one of the most visited iconic landmarks on our private Rome Tours  and  shore excursions to Rome from Civitavecchia. This breathtaking work of art has captured the hearts of countless visitors, and it's not just for its stunning beauty, but also a place shrouded in fascinating myths and rituals. 

Join us as we delve into the enchanting world of the Trevi Fountain, where the act of tossing a coin into the fountain has become an integral part of the experience for travelers worldwide.

If you've already read our 7 Essential Tips for Visiting Trevi Fountain in Rome, then this blog is the perfect follow up!

In this blog, we'll unravel the ancient pagan roots, share intriguing historical anecdotes, and explore the symbolic meanings behind this captivating tradition. Prepare to be immersed in the layers of myth and ritual that make the Trevi Fountain an unforgettable and cherished destination for all. Let's begin this journey into the heart of Rome's enchanting traditions.


 Myths & Rituals of Tossing a Coin into

Trevi Fountain


Myths and Rituals of Tossing Coins into Trevi Fountain in Rome limousine tours



Ancient Pagan Ritual of Tossing a Coin into Water

The ancient pagan ritual of tossing a coin in a fountain or well was a symbolic act of offering or seeking the favor of local deities or water spirits.

This practice was prevalent in many ancient cultures and civilizations, and it often involved making a wish or expressing a desire for good luck, blessings, or the fulfillment of a specific request as sacred fountains or wells were often considered a source of divine power or spiritual energy.

In the case of Trevi Fountain, it is too believed to have originated from an old pagan ritual of making offerings to the water gods. The act of throwing a coin into the fountain symbolizes seeking blessings and protection from these divine entities.


Tossing Coins in Trevi Fountain Revived in the 18th Century


The credit for introducing the coin toss at the Trevi Fountain goes to Wolfgang Helbig, a renowned German archaeologist who traveled extensively through Italy and lived in Rome during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Helbig, a prominent figure in the city's German social circles as a private scholar and art dealer, drew inspiration from these ancient customs and embraced them as a symbolic farewell gesture for his departing guests from the Eternal City.


Coin Tossing in Trevi Fountain in Film & Pop Culture

The act of coin tossing at the Trevi Fountain has left an indelible mark on popular culture, with notable references in iconic films like Federico Fellini's "La Dolce Vita." 

The fountain's fame reached international heights with the release of "Three Coins in the Fountain" in 1954, a film revolving around three American women seeking love and happiness in Rome through this cherished tradition. 


Tossing Three Coins in a Fountain Legends Myths


Such cinematic portrayals have undeniably added to the fountain's enchantment and ensured the timeless popularity of this cherished tradition.


How to Toss a Coin into the Trevi Fountain


To follow the tradition of tossing a coin into the fountain consider how many coins to throw and then follow the traditional ritual. 

Not sure how many coins to throw in the Trevi Fountain? Here's what legend tells us:


  •     Tossing 1 Coin into the Trevi Fountain:

The most common practice at Trevi Fountain is tossing one coin over your left shoulder with your right hand. According to popular belief, this act ensures your return to Rome. Whether you are bidding farewell to the city or simply seeking a promise of a future visitation, this single coin toss carries the essence of the Trevi Fountain tradition.

  •   Tossing 2 Coins into the Trevi Fountain:

For those yearning for love and romance, tossing two coins into Trevi Fountain is believed to increase the chances of finding true love in the near future. This variation of the ritual adds an enchanting element, appealing to the hearts of romantics who visit the fountain.

  •   Tossing 3 Coins into the Trevi Fountain:

Tossing three coins into Trevi Fountain signifies a combination of the previous wishes – a return to Rome, finding love in Rome, and ensuring marriage in the Eternal City. 

So now you've decided how many coins you wish to throw into the fountain and are ready to cast your coin or coins and make your wish.

Imagine standing before the Trevi Fountain with coins gleaming in your hand.

1.   Stand with Your Back to the Fountain:

Position yourself facing away from the fountain, ready to make your wish, and tossing the coin over your left shoulder. This action symbolizes the departure of the coin from your possession, allowing the fountain to receive it.

How to Toss a Coin into Trevi Fountain in Rome private tours


2.   Use Your Right Hand:

It is customary to use your right hand to toss the coin into the fountain. This signifies the act of giving and ensures good luck and a safe return to Rome.

3.   Make Your Wish:

Take a moment to reflect on your deepest desires and dreams. With sincere intention, make your wish silently or whisper it softly to yourself.

4.   Toss the Coin:

Extend your right arm behind you and toss the coin over your left shoulder, aiming for the central basin of the fountain. As the coin descends into the water, feel a sense of hope and anticipation, knowing that your wish has been sent forth.


How to Toss a Coin into Trevi Fountain and make a wish Rome private tours


Take a Moment to Reflect: After tossing the coin, pause for a moment to appreciate the significance of the moment and the connection to the ancient traditions that have unfolded at this very spot for centuries.


What happens to the coins in Trevi Fountain?

The act of coin tossing at Trevi Fountain is not just about making a wish, but also about embracing the spirit of Rome and contributing to the ongoing charitable efforts. As you participate in this age-old tradition, let your coin be a symbol of hope, unity, and goodwill, leaving a positive impact on both your own life and the lives of others.

More than 3,000 Euros worth of coins are collected from Trevi Fountain by authorized personnel each day. These dedicated individuals ensure that the coins are handled with respect and integrity. Once collected, they are then donated to  Rome’s Catholic Charity Caritas which uses these seemingly trivial contributions towards providing food, shelter, and essential social programs for Rome’s poverty-stricken communities.

This beautiful connection between the wishes of visitors and the support for charitable endeavors highlights the positive impact of coin tossing at Trevi Fountain.


Tossing a Coin in Trevi Fountain Myths Rituals


Coin tossing at Trevi Fountain is not merely a customary act but a captivating ritual that connects visitors to the rich history, mythology, and charm of Rome.  Each coin you toss, whether one, two, or three, carries its own significance and purpose, adding to the tapestry of legends that surround this magnificent site.

As you embark on your journey to Rome, embrace the magic and wonder surrounding Trevi Fountain. May each coin you toss into its shimmering waters bring you closer to the enchantment of this iconic symbol of the Eternal City. Let the Trevi Fountain's timeless allure leave an indelible mark on your heart, and may your connection to this captivating tradition be a cherished memory for years to come.

At Stefano's RomeCabs, we are passionate about curating unforgettable experiences for our guests.  That's why we proudly feature Trevi Fountain on most of our exclusive best tours of Rome  and Civitavecchia shore excursions and Rome Pre Cruise Tours. Our professional English-speaking drivers will take you on a journey through Rome's captivating history,  so you may embrace the magic of Rome in all its glory. Your adventure awaits!



Thank you for reading our travel blog Tossing a Coin in Trevi Fountain: Exploring the Myths and Rituals.  We look forward to showing you beautiful places in Italy!