The late Baroque Trevi Fountain in Rome by Nicola Salvi (1697-1751), completed in 1762 by Giuseppe Panini, became famous for the nocturnal bath that Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg took in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita (1960). One year after La Dolce Vita, the photograph by Comet photographer Hans Krebs was taken. It shows nuns throwing coins.
Hans Krebs: Nuns throwing coins, Trevi Fountain, Rome, 1961 (Com_L10-0198-0001-0001)
Throwing coins backwards over the shoulder into the well is popularly said to bring luck. The tradition practiced today by countless tourists also with other wells goes back to the antiquity. Springs and fountains were regarded as sacred and were important places for cults, rituals and votive offerings (Traviani, p. 227).
Lucia Traviani: “Fontana di Trevi e le monete: il rito e le sue origini”, in: Luisa Cardilli: Fontana di Trevi: La Storia, il Restauro. Roma: Edizioni Carte Segrete, 1991 (S. 227-229).
Blogpost Old Snàporaz. On the 20th anniversary of Marcello Mastroianni’s death on ETHeritage