Rome's Trevi Fountain is crumbling, possibly as a delayed result of freezing temperatures last winter.
Chunks up to eight centimetres wide have fallen off of its ledges of the popular tourist attraction in recent days, the Italian news agency ANSA reported on Sunday.
The fire department has partly fenced off the ornate 18th century fountain in the baroque style, which is 20 metres
Legend has it that departing travellers who hurl a coin over their shoulders into the water are destined to return to Rome.
La Dolce Vita, the 1960 movie by Federico Fellini, depicted actress Anita Ekberg immersing herself in the fountain, DPA reports.
Masonry often falls apart with a delay of several months if moisture in its pores has frozen during winter.