Rome Experiments with Controlled Flow of Tourists at Iconic Trevi Fountain

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 10:25

During a summer when problems caused by mass tourism have emerged more apparent than ever in a number of Italian destinations, Rome is experimenting with a new measure aimed at controlling the crowds at one of its most iconic monuments, the Trevi Fountain.

From 9 am until midnight, ten volunteers (retired Carabinieri and traffic policemen) will take turns patrolling the area around the Trevi Fountain, directing the flow of visitors and making sure people don’t misbehave. During peak hours, visitors will have to follow a specific path, accessing the fountain from the central entrance and exiting from the one on the left.

“This measure is intended to allow everyone to enjoy the monument more effectively,” Diego Porta, commander of Rome’s municipal police, told La Repubblica. “Tourists can throw their coin, take a photo and then leave in order to make room for others.”

The volunteers are also tasked with presiding over the monument, and sanction possible inappropriate behavior, such as eating, playing in the water, sitting or leaning on the fountain, which would violate the ordinance signed in June by Rome’s mayor Virginia Raggi to safeguard the city’s artistic fountains. “We’ll make sure that tourists don’t eat in the area adjacent to the monument and don’t sit on the edge of the fountain,” added Porta.

The experiment, which began at the end of July and is scheduled to continue for 80 days, will become permanent in October if the results are deemed positive.  

The Trevi Fountain reopened in November 2015 after a $2.2 million restoration funded by the Italian fashion house Fendi.

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