Thousands of tourists visiting Rome
indulge in the tradition of tossing coins into its Trevi Fountain as, legend says, it means they will return to the city one day and see a wish fulfilled.
And, since police have cracked down on thieves stealing the coins, the value taken from its waters has increased by 30 per cent.
In April 2011, a municipal council resolution says that "collecting coins from the fountain is not allowed. They are Rome capitale property and intended for charity".
The Roman Catholic charity Caritas, which takes the coins out every morning (pictured) to pay for food for the poor and for Aids shelters, has noticed a huge boost in the value of the small change they are recovering.
Every morning workers from the charity sweep up the coins that visitors cast into the Baroque masterpiece.
A dozen bags of coins ,weighing as much as 10 kilos each, are usually retrieved during a 24-hour span at the fountain
In 2010, the charity removed coins worth £652, 500, rising to £740,500 in 2011.
This year, Caritas has already £420,000 - equating to £2,300 a day.
According to the Daily Mail
, the charity's spokesman, Alberto Colaiacomo, said: "The increase is 20 to 30 per cent.
"The rise is due to the fact that the Rome
council passed a resolution making it a crime to take coins from the fountain.
"Before, there were gangs of thieves who managed to steal a lot. When they were stopped, we saw a lot more money."
Discover 10 new Italian holiday gems here:
- Locanda RosaRosae, Veneto, north-east Italy
This rose-smothered flour mill on the banks of the Meolo river has been tastefully converted, with exposed mill machinery and restored wooden decor. Stroll through the long riverside garden, eat at one of the restaurant's four dining alcoves, drift off to the creak of the mill wheel, or borrow bikes for the day. From £98 (€120) per night.</p>
- Relais Teatro Argentina, Rome
This five-star boutique hotel is just steps away from many of the city's finest attractions, including Largo Argentina's ruined temples and the Pantheon. Its "refined and restful" interior boasts marble stairs, chandeliers, antiquated bedrooms and modern bathrooms. In the evening, you can relax with a drink on the terrace overlooking Rome's rooftops. <a href="http://www.sawdays.co.uk/search/display.php?BookID=it3865" target="_blank">Relais Teatro Argentina </a>costs £117 (€143) per night.</p>
- Villa Sermolli, Tuscany
With 18th-century frescoed ceilings and an antiquated, labyrinth interior, this <a href="http://www.sawdays.co.uk/self-catering/italy/tuscany/pistoia/villa-sermolli" target="_blank">historic borgo palazzo</a> offers five terraces, two living rooms, 12 "lavish" bedrooms, marble bathrooms, a library with a bar and four kitchens (one of which has a Tuscan fireplace and pizza oven). It also has a swimming pool, lovely views to Monticatini, and gardens filled with wisteria, fountains, fruits and palm trees. Oh, and there are gourmet wine-tasting tours, too. From £3,260 (€4000) per week. Sleeps 28.</p>
- Anime a Sud, Modica, Sicily
Situated in the historic heart of Modica, <a href="http://www.sawdays.co.uk/self-catering/italy/sicily/ragusa/anime-a-sud" target="_blank">Anime a Sud</a> is a small 19th century townhouse remodelled by artist and eco engineer Luca. The townhouse has an open-plan living room, a family room, and a big dining terrace with lemon trees. Wooden shutters, stylish candle lanterns and zero-impact energy all make for a highly eco-friendly abode. Beaches are located 20 minutes away. From £742 (€910) per week. Sleeps 5.</p>
- Le Terrazze, Palermo, Sicily
Set in a 16th-century palazzo down one of the few quiet streets of Palermo, <a href="http://www.sawdays.co.uk/search/display.php?BookID=it3652" target="_blank">Le Terrazze </a>sports five plant-filled terraces with "fine rooftop views." The apartment contains "lofty sunlit rooms bedecked in antiques ceramics and paintings", the bedrooms are grand and traditional, and you can take your pick from several local restaurants nearby. From £89.70 (€110) per night.</p>
- Delser Manor House Hotel, Verona
An ancient flat-topped Sicilian-like building with vaulted brick ceilings, Roman columns and stone arches, <a href="http://www.sawdays.co.uk/search/display.php?BookID=it3823" target="_blank">Delser Manor</a> has been described as an archaeologist's dream. The hotel offers luxurious bedrooms, oak floors and rainforest showers. Verona is just ten minutes away too, meaning you can pop down to see Juliet's balcony and opera in a Roman arena. From £90 (€110) per night.</p>
- Stazzo Chivoni, Sardinia
Built in 1850 and modernised in 2003, this plain granite 'stazzu gallurese' can be found at the end of a long winding road. With its reed-woven ceiling, a corner fireplace and little windows, <a href="http://www.sawdays.co.uk/search/display.php?BookID=it3571" target="_blank">Stazzo Chivoni</a> is a place with no artifice. It has a bright sitting room, an outdoor hammock and a vegetable garden which Sawday describes as being "in harmony with the landscape". From £50 (€60) per night.</p>
- Podere Cardaneto, Umbria
Described by Sawday's as "a delight for the senses and with spell-binding views", <a href="http://www.sawdays.co.uk/search/display.php?BookID=it3657" target="_blank">Podere Cardaneto</a> is split into three sections: a house for B&Bers, barn apartments for self caterers and a 14th-century look-out tower. Filled with "elegant and inviting décor", the podere is home to mismatched sofas, idiosyncratic antiques and "big beautiful bedrooms". Foodwise you can expect homemade cakes, jams in season and "simple delicious dinners". From £98 (€120) per night / £490 (€600) per week.</p>
- Agriturismo Ramuse, Marche
This old farm has been restored to what is now a rustic destination with traditional interiors, vine-clad terraces and a super pool. The <a href="http://www.sawdays.co.uk/search/display.php?BookID=it3386" target="_blank">Ramuse</a> menu has been described as "tantalising", and everything served is produced on the farm or locally. Situated nearby are the Sibillini mountains and the Adriatic coast. From £73.39 (€90) per night / £489.28 (€600) per week based on two sharing.</p>
- Le Due Volpi, Mugello, Tuscany
Situated in the hills of the Mugello valley, Le Due Volpi is just twenty miles from Florence. A big house strewn with ivy, the place offers "spaciousness and light and a charming Tuscan interior". The hosts cook from their Aga, and the bedrooms offer soft lighting and wood-burners. Vicchio is only a ten-minute drive away and riding stables are just down the road. From £98 (€120) per night. Visit <a href="http://www.sawdays.co.uk/search/display.php?BookID=it2854" target="_blank">sawdays.co.uk</a>.</p>
Sign up to our weekly newsletter
| Follow us on Twitter
| Become a fan on Facebook