The leaders of the world’s biggest economies have been taking in the sights in Rome, visiting the Trevi Fountain before getting back to work hammering out a final statement on climate change.

As the water gurgled behind them, the G20 leaders each threw a coin into the enormous Baroque-style fountain that has been the backdrop of many a film, most famously Fellini’s La Dolce Vita.

Legend has it that if you throw a coin into the fountain, you will return to the Eternal City.

The leaders included British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Italian premier Mario Draghi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.

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G20 leaders perform the traditional coin toss in front of the Trevi Fountain (Gregorio Borgia/AP)

But not all members of the G20 participated in the visit; notably absent was US President Joe Biden.

The fountain, which draws its source from Rome’s ancient aqueducts, went through various phases of design before its current version was inaugurated in the mid-1700s.

It depicts Neptune, the god of the sea, taming the waters.

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The leaders line up for a photocall (Jeff J Mitchell/AP)

Built into a wall of the Palazzo Poli behind it, the fountain draws its name from its location at the confluence of three streets, or “tre vie”, in Rome’s historic centre.

The coins are regularly scooped out of the basin of the fountain and given to charity.