Rome’s Trevi Fountain might be famous for its beauty, but it’s also famous for the hordes of tourists descending on it each day, trying to capture the perfect Instagram picture. And unfortunately, with crowds come damage both intended and unintended. To prevent tourists from sitting on the edge of the fountain, bathe in it, and otherwise defiling it, the Rome city council approved a resolution to erect barriers around the iconic monument.
Roman authorities hope that the barrier will put an end to the uphill battle of trying to preserve the fountain from reckless tourist behavior. Many, for example, have tried to swim in the fountain’s waters, in imitation of a scene from La Dolce Vita.
Some, like Italian architect and historian Paolo Portoghesi, are fiercely opposed to the barrier. “Installing a barrier,” he said, “seems a frightening offense to the beauty of a masterpiece that gives itself generously to those who observe it.”
According to the motion passed by the city council, “There must be respect for the symbolic parts of Roma Capitale,” as well as “continuous patrols” to make sure monuments aren’t being damaged. It also calls for a crackdown on street vendors around the fountain and Colosseum.