They mostly end up shame-faced after realising that not only have their well-publicised antics provoked the ire of Rome residents, they have a hefty fine to boot.
But not Delilah Jay, the latest Ekberg-wannabe to take a dip in the 17th century Baroque fountain.
The Local happened to spot Jay - an author, actress, singer-songwriter, former Page 3 model and London Mayor aspirant – sitting outside a café on one of Rome’s classiest streets, Via Babuino, on Thursday night.
Far from being embarrassed, the 54-year-old German told us told us she would probably do it again.
“It was a homage to 'La Dolce Vita',” she said of her decision to jump into the fountain earlier this week.
“I love Rome, I love Fellini and I love Ekberg – I’ve had so many comments on my Facebook page saying I look very much like her.”
Like Ekberg, Jay has blonde hair. She also donned a fur stole (albeit a fake one) for her Trevi debut. Hollywood sex symbol Ekberg also wore a fur stole for the scene in the 1960 film.
But that’s as far as the resemblance goes.
As she sat perched on the edge of the fountain, which was only recently restored to the tune of €2.2 million, on Tuesday morning, Jay said “the water called me to jump in”.
And so she did, all the while blowing kisses to hundreds of tourists, some of whom applauded her.
“I didn’t really think about it at all, the water was so inviting,” she added.
“An old Italian lady was laughing, telling me that I’ll get a big fine! It was so refreshing.”
But her stunt was short-lived. A police officer soon arrived and told her to get out.
She was handed a €450 fine, which she readily withdrew from the nearest ATM.
“I wasn’t taken to the police station, but they showed me the handcuffs,” she laughed.
Spontaneity aside, Jay also had another motive to make a splash in Rome – she’s hoping the Eternal City will form the backdrop of a film she’s hoping to make out of her book, ‘Mistress – The Italian Way’.