Rome, Italy, Jan 14, 2019 / 13:42 pm
After several weeks of confusion, the mayor of Rome has clarified that coins scooped from the famous Trevi Fountain will not be used to pay for city council maintenance projects, but instead will continue to go to Caritas, a Catholic charity that helps Rome's poor and homeless.
"Caritas and all the thousands of people it helps can rest assured," Mayor Virginia Raggi told L'Osservatore Romano Jan. 14.
"I personally guarantee that this administration will never take away its contribution. On the issue of the coins, I confirm that they will continue to go to the charity. No one ever considered taking them away."
Caritas Rome has been the beneficiary of the coins since 2001. Visitors to Rome toss about €1.5 million ($1.7 million) worth of coins into the Trevi Fountain each year, which represents about 15 percent of Caritas' charitable budget. The funds are mainly used for housing for the homeless, soup kitchens, and parish-based services for struggling families.