Three coins in a fountain – Splish splashing in the Fontana di Trevi

Tradition has it that if you throw a few coins into the Trevi Fountain, you are ensured a return visit to the “Eternal City”.  Not wanting to miss an opportunity to secure a guaranteed sojourn back to this splendiferous Italian capital, I was determined to place my pink-sneakered feet in the famous fountain, channel my inner Anita Ekberg, and exuberantly splish splash my way into “La Dolce Vita”.  Little did I know that there are strict laws about bathing in spewing fountains and that playfully re-creating a 1960’s iconic movie moment could be viewed upon as nothing short of cuckoo and not the recommended thing to do on one’s “Top 10” sightseeing options list.

Well, if I couldn’t giddily cavort in a gushing geyser, I could easily fling a couple of coins into a cascading fountain and play out a scene from “Three Coins in a Fountain”, and hope for the best, whether a possible chance on romance or a return voyage to magnificent Roma.

But, first, I had to get there.  Not one to depend upon maps in order to guide my way around a foreign city, I instead leaned towards taking a quick peek at my travel books to get the gist of where I’m heading and start walking towards my destination. This was my preferred way of travelling, as I would haphazardly end up taking the longer, but, more interesting route, arriving at my designated touristic sight several hours later – slightly tuckered out, yet immensely wealthier, for the sights and sounds that inevitably accompanied me on my pink-sneaker journey across a bustling foreign metropolis.

Hoping to save a bit of time, I hopped on one of the “Hop on, Hop off” tour buses that frequent all of the European cities, only to be stuck in major traffic in one of the busiest intersections in Rome.  Sitting on the top deck of the bus, sweltering in the late May heat, my top and shorts drenched in sweat, it literally felt as if I were glued to my seat, trapped in a quagmire of heat, sweat and sticky humanity.  With nary a shady leaf to lend coverage to my now sunburned scalp, I happened to spot a few enterprising vendors anxious to make a few bucks and sell 5 Euro umbrellas to the 20 or so melting, shade-less, top deck passengers, grateful for a welcome respite from the scorching rays of the unforgiving Mediterranean sun.

Gaudy bright green umbrella in hand, I languished in my seat until I could stand it no longer, my pink sneakers itching to traverse upon cobblestoned ground, I jumped off the bus lickety-split, and merrily sprinted along the congested pathways to freedom.  Freedom from the constricting limitations of the meticulously mapped out route of the tourist bus – a superb option for those willing to be spoon fed a basic and standard itinerary of the “must-see” tourist locales – but one that I was not anxious to follow, desiring to instead forage out on my own and discover unusual and quirky venues, and tell the tale of interesting adventures along the way.

Traipsing up and down side streets, alleyways, and dead-end laneways, I eventually stumbled upon the famous Italian fountain, the sound of its cascading and bubbling waters enthusiastically greeting me as I turned the corner and came face to face with the ornately carved massive structure.  Standing an impressive 85 feet high and 65 feet wide, the Fontana di Trevi is the terminus for an aqueduct that supplies all of the fountains in central Rome with flowing water. Legend has it that parched Roman soldiers were led to a sparking and refreshing spring by a virgin, the site where the Trevi Fountain was later erected.

Myths, legends and traditions abound around this magnificent gushing fountain, the best loved one being the obligatory coin toss into its pristine burbling water.  Grasping the coins in your right hand, with your back facing the fountain, the pieces of silver are tossed over your left shoulder, magically rewarding you with a future trip back to enchanting Roma.  Not a bad deal at all, just for scrounging around the bottom of your sac for loose change, in the hope of securing a return visit. Pink Sneakers on the Go can attest to the validity of this time-honoured tradition, as this was my 2nd visit to the Trevi Fountain in 25 years – and judging by the 25 year gap in between visits, looks like my pink-sneakered feet will once again be traipsing on Roman territory 25 years from now.  Now that’s taking “planning in advance” to the extreme next level!!

Tossing one coin into the fountain rewards you with a return visit to Rome, tossing two coins represents a new romance on the horizon and three coins culminates in marriage. This got my brain whirling -what happens when you toss in a pocketful of change?

The shining, glimmering and glistening silver coins of all denominations do not just randomly languish at the bottom of the fountain, as they are collected each fortnight and distributed to various local charities. I read somewhere that upwards of 3,000 Euros in loose change is gathered daily from the depth of the fountain!!

Legendary figures of all shapes and sizes are intricately carved into the mesmerizing Baroque structure – from the impressive figure of Oceanus, symbolizing the sea, rivers and lakes – to the horse drawn shell shaped chariot upon which he majestically presides, ruling over water in all its forms.  The calm and tranquility of the sea is symbolized by a regal and obedient horse juxtaposed alongside an impatient unruly horse, which, of course, is a representation of the tumultuous and unpredictable energy of the sea.

Gleefully flinging a handful of Canadian loonies, dimes, nickels and Euro coins into the sparkling Fontana di Trevi, eyes mesmerized and transfixed watching the silver haphazardly splash into the shimmering water - the catchy melodic Doris Day song “Que Sera Sera” (Whatever will be, Will be), playing over and over in my mind - I wondered what other adventures awaited, a treasure trove of memories ready to be discovered.

Come splish splash with me and fall under the magical spell of the enchanting Fontana di Trevi…come traipse around Roma with me…..

Next week – Where do my pink-sneakered footprints take me? Stay tuned!!

Pink Sneakers on the Go Helpful Tidbits of Info:

  • The gushing fountain is supplied with water originating from the Salone Springs, a 20 km distance from Rome.

  • Centuries ago, it was believed that drinking from the fountain ensured a prosperous life as well as a guaranteed return visit to Roma.

  • The word Trevi represents the three roads (tre vie) that converge at the site of the fountain.

  • The famous fountain is a shining movie star in its own right, spotlighted in numerous films, such as  “Three Coins in a Fountain”, ”Roman Holiday” and “La Dolce Vita".

  • Be prepared to jostle your way towards the Fontana di Trevi, as it is a well sought out tourist attraction, drawing thousands of tourists each day.  Just have patience, and slowly wrangle your way through the crowd as you inch your way to the edge for a once in a lifetime photo op.  You will not be disappointed!!

1 Response to "Three coins in a fountain – Splish splashing in the Fontana di Trevi"

  1. Semen Rendi says:
    8 August 2014 at 04:24
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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