by Anton Wills-Eve

<a href=””>Three Coins in the Fountain</a>

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What a nice prompt. Right up my via. I am currently on a three coins in the fountain wait to return to Rome.  Or am I?

Before leaving the last time I was in the eternal city I threw my three coins  in the Fontana di Trevi like I always did before leaving town. I worked and lived there a lot in the 1960’s. However my last actual contact with the city was somewhat strange. I was working as a journalist in Asia in 1970 when my father had his second heart attack and the company flew me back to see him as he wasn’t expected to live. Well the flight back made three stop overs between Singapore and London, to wit Karachi, Cairo and Rome.

Now, does visiting an aiport outside a city’s limits count as a visit to that city? I don’t know. So are my last three coins alive and waiting for me or not? I could drop Pope Francis a line and ask him, but being Argentinian he possibly wouldn’t know. Pity, because the one  trip I want to make again before I die is to fly to southern central France to see someone I love, and then on to Rome to try to manage the train journey from there to Umbria to visit Cascia, the burial place of somebody who has helped me more than any other in my life.

But I suppose, if I think of it, the superstition of the coins and my deep  spiritual love of St.Rita, patroness of hopeless causes and advocate of the impossible, are not things that should be conflated. The first is just a nice, charitable custom. The second is part of everything I hold most sacred and dear to me. So let’s just hope that my health improves enough, and then holds out long enough, for me to do my pilgrimage and if I come back through Rome I shall toss three notes into the fountain instead of coins.

After all, when they empty the fountain that evening to gather up the coins to give to the poor the ‘poveri’ will be a little bit better off than they would have been. I also think my spiritual friend would prefer it too!


Anton Wills-Eve