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Rome restricts La Dolce Vita

The famous Trevi fountain is again in focus, this time over a bathing ban
The famous Trevi fountain is again in focus, this time over a bathing ban  


ROME, Italy (CNN) -- Rome has thrown cold water on Dolce Vita fantasies by banning bathing in a world famous city centre fountain.

City officials passed the new regulations with stiff fines for anyone attempting to recreate Anita Ekberg's splashing scene in the classic 1960s film "La Dolce Vita."

Fines of up to 500 euros ($485) will be imposed for bathing in the baroque Trevi fountain and up to 100 euros for bathing in some of the city's other, less well-visited fountains.

But bathers are not the only problem at the Trevi fountain. A homeless man who has long made his living fishing coins out of the Renaissance masterpiece was arrested last week for theft after a public outcry over his daily income.

Roberto Cercelletta told the Corriere Della Sera before his arrest: "I sweep up only about 200-300 euros a day, not what papers claim, and I share what I get with two other unemployed people."

Local media reported Cercelletta was making up to 600 euros ($582) six days a week, and only stopping on Mondays when members of the Catholic charity Caritas collect offerings in the fountain.

Cercelletta has been arrested for fishing up thousands of euros
Cercelletta has been arrested for fishing up thousands of euros  

Rome's city authorities estimate charities are losing out to the tune of 12,000 euros a month, Reuters news agency reports, and have now begun their own daily collections from the fountain.

In 1994 a high court decision ruled that taking coins out of the fountain was no more illegal than throwing them in -- and the only thing illegal was to actually jump in the fountain.

The new bathing ban is based on the 1994 ruling and outlaws Cercelletta's activities while also stopping tourists from taking a dip in the Trevi fountain.

The Trevi, built in 1762, is one of the most famous tourist sights in Rome and is dominated by a giant figure of the sea god Neptune on a winged chariot.

Legend has it that by tossing a coin in the fountain, a visitor is sure to return to Rome.



 
 
 
 






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