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Millions of tourism money goes to poor people in Rome

Millions of tourists have thrown small coins into Rome's tourist attraction, the Trevi Fountain, in the hope of making their wishes come true. According to Caritas Catholicism, the annual total in 2022 was 1.4 million euros, and the amount in 2023 is expected to be even higher, Reuters reported.

A few times a week, the electricity and water company Acea collects the coins with vacuum cleaner-like machines and takes them to Caritas to be counted and managed. Among the finds were also other objects of greater or less value such as jewelry, keys, some dentures and umbilical cords.

A portion of the proceeds are then turned into food for the Emporium store near Central Station where people in need can go to exchange grant vouchers for food. In addition to this food bank, those in need can fill the Caritas soup kitchen or get help at other charitable events.

Photo: Marcelo Valeri

According to Caritas, the number of people living in extreme poverty reaches approximately 5.7 million people in Italy, which is equivalent to about 9.7 percent of the country's population. The organization describes the growing problem as structural and that another 14 million Italians are at risk of poverty and social exclusion.

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