In a recent event that has raised eyebrows worldwide, a tourist at Rome’s renowned Trevi Fountain was captured on camera trying to fill a water bottle directly from the fountain. The video of the incident, which was uploaded on Storyful by fellow tourist Lex Jones on July 18, has since attracted attention from media outlets such as ABC News.
The footage reveals a female tourist, clad in a blue shirt, blue cap, and white capri pants, stepping onto the fountain’s stones, approximately five feet inside. As she balanced herself by gripping a large stone structure, she proceeded to fill her bottle with water cascading down from the fountain’s apex.
However, this did not go unnoticed. The distinct sound of a whistle interrupts the video as a security guard wearing a yellow vest approaches the tourist. By the time the guard reaches her, the woman has already returned to the tiled ground surrounding the fountain.
A second whistle blow ensues, and the tourist appears bewildered, seemingly unaware of her misstep.
The video concludes with the woman engaging in a conversation with the security guard and eventually being directed up the stairs, away from the Trevi Fountain.
What makes this situation all the more perplexing is that the Trevi Fountain is not the only water source at this location. On the opposite side, there exists a rectangular water basin, known as the “fountain of lovers”. This basin is continuously supplied by two water spouts, indicating an alternative and permissible source for those who might be thirsty.
Lex Jones, who captured the event on film, stated on the Storyful website: “There were signs all over saying that’s not allowed.” She also mentioned how the tourist seemed adamant in her explanations and appeared to not fully grasp the issue at hand.
The consequences faced by the tourist post-incident remain uncertain. Whether there were any fines imposed or other reprimands is not specified.
The Trevi Fountain, a symbol of Roman grandeur, sources its water from the Aqua Virgo, an ancient aqueduct that dates back to 19 BCE. Impressively, it remains the only ancient Roman aqueduct still functional to this day.
However, despite its age-old origins, the water in the Trevi Fountain may not be suitable for consumption. Reports from Rome Experience state that the 80,000 cubic meters of water circulated by the fountain daily is recycled, advising against drinking it.
Historically, the Trevi Fountain stands as an architectural masterpiece, conceptualized by Nicola Salvi. Although its construction began under Salvi’s supervision, it was only completed after his passing in 1762.
Over the years, its prominence in popular culture has grown, with movies like the 1954 romantic comedy “Three Coins in the Fountain” highlighting the tradition of tossing coins into the fountain for good fortune.
These coin offerings have a charitable purpose today. Since 2006, the accumulated coins, often amounting to €3,000 daily, are collected by a Roman Catholic charity. These funds are then redirected to support various food and social initiatives.