Category Archives: Italy

Three Coins in the Fountain

When Rusty and Kit arrived in Rome in November 1954, one of the first things they did was visit the Fontana de Trevi or the Trevi Fountain. Jane Powell was there having her picture taken, and Rusty and Kit each posed for the camera, throwing a coin (or two or three) over their shoulder and wishing.

Rusty throws a coin and a wish into Trevi Fountain.

Rusty throws a coin and a wish into Trevi Fountain.

According to legend, if you throw a coin with your right hand over your left shoulder into the waters of the fountain, you will return to Rome. That tossed coin is an offer to the Goddess of the Waters, to please the goddess and to beg for a safe return to Rome. Why is the coin tossed over the shoulder? Because if you see a god or goddess with your human eyes, you could turn into a pillar of salt. The second coin tossed into the fountain is a wish for romance, and the third coin tossed is a hope for marriage.

What did Rusty and Kit wish for when visiting the fountain, just a few months after seeing the movie “Three Coins in the Fountain”? And how many coins did they throw in?

Only they know for sure. But Rusty did find a job, an apartment, and even (or especially) an Italian romance in Rome.

And did they return to Rome? Rusty returned within the month, but after leaving Rome in 1955, she never returned, content with her memories. Kit did return, years later, for a visit with her husband.

To learn about the travels of Rusty and Kit, read The Tucker – Tyler Adventure.

In response to the Daily Post’s writing prompt: Three Coins in the Fountain

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Classic Movies to Watch from the 1950s

What movies did Kit and Rusty possibly see in the early 1950s that might have inspired or influenced them before their trip to Europe? While I was writing and editing The Tucker – Tyler Adventure, I decided to go to the movies.

1950s movies

Rusty’s letters home were often sprinkled with the names of the movies Rusty and Kit saw while in Paris or Rome or even on the Queen Mary. Rusty wrote to her mother:

We walked down steps then to the very edge of the Seine. Remember in An American in Paris when Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron danced at nite along the river? And they came down the steps leading to the street, to this wide cobblestone way beside the Seine? – There we were!

I discovered that a lot of the “classic movies” I’d already seen were filmed in the 50s. Movies like Cinderella (1950) and Alice in Wonderland (1951), Singing in the Rain (1952), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), Dial M for Murder (1954), and Rear Window (1954).

So I watched the movies that Rusty and Kit wrote about: An American in Paris (1951) where two friends fall in love with the same woman in Paris; Roman Holiday (1953) where a princess falls in love with an American newsman in Rome; and Three Coins in a Fountain (1954) where an American young woman falls in love with an Italian prince in Rome.

Next time you’re looking for a movie to rent, consider traveling abroad in the 1950s and view one of the movies Rusty and Kit watched.

From The Tucker – Tyler Adventure, written by Katherine Tucker and Marialyce Tyler with Nancy Cowan and Tara Taft.

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Filed under Armchair Travel, Europe, France, Italy, Tucker - Tyler Adventure, U.S.