As hundreds of tourists and Romans took pictures, water began flowing once again at Rome's famed Trevi fountain after a 17-month, 2.2 million euro ($2.4 million) restoration.

The restoration was paid for by the Rome-based Fendi fashion house. Rome's top culture official, Claudio Parisi, said at the fountain's re-opening Tuesday such public-private partnerships are essential to preserve the city's cultural treasures in tight economic times.

Tourists still had access to the dry fountain during the restoration, approaching the stonework along a temporary bridge that gave them a close-up view of the sculpture of Oceanus in a shell chariot.

The fountain that featured in Fellini's "La Dolce Vita" is a must-see in Rome. Legend has it that tossing a coin over one's shoulder into the fountain ensures a return visit.