Video shows tourist climbing into Rome’s Trevi Fountain to fill up water bottle

Aug 16, 2023, 1:05 PM

Trevi Fountain has become a source of contention in Italy as tourists routinely disrespect the famo...

Trevi Fountain has become a source of contention in Italy as tourists routinely disrespect the famous monument. Mandatory Credit: Getty Images

(CNN) — A video of a tourist climbing into Rome’s iconic Trevi Fountain to fill her water bottle has circulated online.

The footage, filmed last month, shows the woman walking over a row of rocks to reach the center of the 18th-century landmark as onlookers watch in horror.

After filling her bottle from a spout of the fountain, she attempts to walk away, before a guard blows a whistle and paces towards her.

The two engage in a brief discussion before the guard takes the tourist away. It remains unclear what happened to the tourist after the incident, and whether she was arrested or fined.

Tourists can be fined up to 500 euros for entering the fountain, which is widely considered one of the city’s best known landmarks.

Legend states that anyone who throws a coin into its waters will ensure their return to Rome.

Each year around 1-1.5 million euros ($1.1-$1.6 million) in coins are collected for the Catholic charity Caritas. Around 3,000 euros ($3,200) a day are thrown into the fountain during busy tourist months, according to Rome’s tourism board.

Currently, the fountain sits slightly below the square. Visitors must climb down steps to reach it – but they normally take up residence on the steps, or perch on the fountain’s edge – leading to calls for police to install checkpoints and continuous foot patrols along the surrounding roads.

As the number of international visitors jetting off to Rome skyrockets since the end of Covid-19, tourists have been criticized for disrespecting the city’s famous monuments.

In June last year, two American tourists caused $25,000 worth of damage to the Spanish Steps in Rome, while a month earlier, a Saudi visitor drove his rented Maserati down the travertine staircase, fracturing two of the steps.

Last month, a tourist was filmed apparently carving his name into a wall of Rome’s 2,000-year-old Colosseum, causing Italy’s culture minister to call for a manhunt to identify the culprit and his companion.

Elsewhere in Italy, tourists routinely swim in Venice’s canals, which double as the city’s sewer system. In August last year, two Australians surfed down the Grand Canal, while in May, Americans stripped off for a skinny dip beside the 14th-century Arsenale landmark.

Also last August, an Australian decided to ride his moped around the ancient Roman site of Pompeii, while in October, an American smashed two priceless sculptures in the Vatican Museum, apparently after being told that he could not see the pope.

Earlier this month, a group of young German tourists posing for pictures to post on social media were accused of toppling a valuable statue at a villa in northern Italy, the villa’s manager said.

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Video shows tourist climbing into Rome’s Trevi Fountain to fill up water bottle