Lonely Planet Writer

Why one visitor had to pay a lot more than three coins after his visit to the Trevi Fountain

If you’re planning to visit the Trevi Fountain in Rome, and let’s face it, it’s a must-see, be careful not to break the rules or it could prove costly. Take a lesson from a visitor from Poland, whose holiday spending money was hit recently when he was fined €500 ($605) for trying to scale the iconic fountain.

Two policemen patrolling by the Trevi Fountain in Rome. Image: Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

Police officers on patrol around the fountain discovered the man in his 40s preparing to climb into it. This is strictly prohibited under city rules that ban the public from entering, climbing on or otherwise endangering Rome’s historic landmarks.They ordered him to come down, but when he persisted, they issued him with a fine for €500. He may also be fined for failing to show police a valid ID, and the fountain will also to be checked for damage.

The Trevi Fountain could soon be a money-earner for Rome. Photo by TTstudio/Shutterstock

The beloved water feature has weathered incidents like this one before, including various attempts by people to recreate Anita Ekberg’s famous splash in La Dolce Vita – with or without their clothes. Its waters have also been dyed red twice by an Italian “vandalism artist,” who claimed he was protesting the cost of Rome’s film festival.

Last summer saw the mayor approving rules banning people from cooling off in 15 fountains across the city.
Last summer saw the mayor approving rules banning people from cooling off in 15 fountains across the city. Image by Duszan/Shutterstock

The city has previously implemented a series of new rules covering the high tourist season, with the aim of reducing anti-social behaviour and the added bonus of raising funds from fines. Last summer,  there was a temporary ban on people drinking alcohol in the streets after 10pm and eating or drinking near 15 of the city’s historic fountains. Bathing and paddling in the fountains were also outlawed, although this is a rule that is permanently in place around the Trevi Fountain.