The turnaround came promptly: The coins from the Trevi fountain and other fountains of Rome go to Caritas. No one had thought of “ever, only because of Caritas, this means to deny,” said mayor Virginia Raggi of the left-wing populist Five-star movement on Monday night after a crisis meeting in its headquarters on Capitol hill.

Matthias Rüb

Political correspondent for Italy, the Vatican, Albania and Malta, based in Rome.

F. A. Z.

All just a misunderstanding, a kind of involuntary April fool’s joke at the beginning of the year? From the town hall to hear short been after the new year, from the 1. April would use the city of Rome, the “fountain of money” for their own purposes, for the preservation of the many heritage sites or to the stopper of the countless potholes in the streets of Rome.

The Outcry was loud and came from everywhere. Every Roman knows what Caritas in the capital of the diocese, with its 300 employees and more than 5,000 volunteers, the facilities and the 145 parishes of Rome day-to-day in the 51 social: for the homeless and the poor in shelters, soup kitchens and medical dispensaries, for abused women, laid-off prisoners and pull-through migrant workers were in their reception and advice centres.

In 2001, the then mayor Walter Veltroni of the social Democrats had decided to give the from the fountains of Rome together collected money for the Catholic charity. In the past year, the goods alone, from the Trevi fountain are about 1.5 million euros, with a further approximately € 200,000 came from other fountains of the city. In the Budget of the Roman Caritas, the “fountain of money covered” last around 15 percent.

Italian and especially foreign tourists to maintain the Trevi fountain, the Tradition is to throw coins backwards over the shoulder into the water, which bring the visitor to happiness, as well as another trip in the Eternal city. The Roman water works to ensure that the coins get sucked up every few months from the fountain to the ground, and be counted and sorted. The costs according to the water works every year, more than 2000 euros. The extra cost for the fountain cleaning of a special kind will not be replaced, the water works of the city of Rome.