At 5:21 PM on Tuesday, November 3rd, all eyes were on the Trevi Fountain in Rome. A massive, eager, selfie stick-wielding crowd gathered at the site cheering wildly as the fountain began spouting its turquoise waters for the first time in over a year.
If you’ve visited Rome recently, chances are you stumbled upon a rather disappointing version of the Trevi Fountain. For the last seventeen months, the iconic Italian landmark has been drained and covered in scaffolding, in an effort to preserve and repair the nearly 300-year old structure. The two million euro renovation was fully funded by Fendi, an Italian luxury fashion house, and included not only a thorough cleansing, but also proactive measures to prevent the elaborate façade from crumbling away. The revamping stemmed from an incident in 2012 when pieces of the landmark came crashing down. To avoid future decay, the expert restoration team filled cracks and added steel supports to the structure. Today, the white marble fountain sparkles in the Italian sun, cleaner and stronger than ever.
The Trevi Fountain is perhaps best known for the legend attached to it: if you throw a coin over your left shoulder into the fountain, you will return to Rome. This practice has been featured in many movies, and is a staple for tourists visiting the city. Though the fountain as we know it today has only been around for a few hundred years, the coin-throwing tradition dates back to ancient times, when Romans used to throw coins into the water to make the gods favor their journey home and ensure them a safe trip.
Before the fountain was drained in 2014, it collected roughly 3,000 Euros a night, all of which is gathered nightly and donated to help buy groceries for those in need. Even during the long restoration process, many determined visitors still tried tossing coins into the fountain, aiming for small residual puddles and hoping to once more return to the beautiful and historic city of Rome.
Watch below as the beloved Italian landmark returns to life during Tuesday night’s ceremony.