It was in 1978, when I first saw the fountain of Trevi. I had joined a friend, Dr. James Cox, who was going to the Holy land and return back by way of Rome. I had always wanted to visit Rome because of all of the ancient history there. There were many sites in the city that we visited, but the Trevi was indeed was one of the most beautiful fountains in Rome, even though they were on nearly every corner. The Trevi Fountain is stands 85 feet high and 65 feet wide, it is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and overwhelms you with its size.
As a junior in high school in 1954, I had seen the film Three Coins in the Fountain. It tells the story of three American girls looking for romance in Rome while employed at the American Embassy. It stars Clifton Webb, Dorothy McGuire, Jean Peters, Louis Jourdan, Maggie McNamara and Rossano Brazzi.
The front of the fountain has in the middle a triumphal arch made by an order of four Corinthian columns that divide it into three niches. They are surmounted by a grandiose attic with two who hold the coat-of-arms of pope Clemente XII (1730-1740). Below it are four statues that represent the seasons.
A traditional legend holds that if visitors throw a coin into the fountain, they are ensured a return to Rome. Among those who are unaware that the "three coins" of Three Coins in the Fountain were thrown by three different individuals, a reported current interpretation is that two coins will ensure a marriage will occur soon, while three coins leads to a divorce. A reported current version of this legend is that it is lucky to throw three coins with one's right hand over one's left shoulder into the Trevi Fountain.
Approximately 3,000 coins are thrown into the fountain each day and are collected at night. The money has been used to subsidize a supermarket for Rome's needy. However, there are regular attempts to steal coins from the fountain, including some using a magnetized pole.
Like the many all around me, I turned my back to the statuary and threw a coin over my left shoulder, signifying that I wanted to come back to Rome. I have returned to Italy, a number of times, but have yet to return to Rome, and it appears I may not be able to. In any case, this was a very enjoyable experience for me.
If you ever have a chance to visit Rome, after seeing all the other magnificent places, be sure to visit Trevi. You will never miss the coin and who knows your wish may come true.
“Save when there shall be no poor among you; for the LORD shall greatly bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it: “-- Deuteronomy 15:4
Dr. Alton Loveless is the former CEO/President of Randall House Publications, Nashville, Tn., He is a freelance writer living in Ashville,Ohio and has written for assorted publications printed both nationally and internationally. To see photos and read other stories click on http://altonloveless.blogspot.com/