By Raïssa Robles
“Awesome” was the word Pia often used to describe the blitz trip she and Steeve took recently.
It was Pia’s first trip ever to Europe – something that my husband Alan had been prodding her to do for YEARS AND YEARS.
But Pia’s right. The best way to see Europe, especially Italy, is with someone you love and care for.
Before I go any further, I’d like to explain why a hard-boiled journalist like me – whose specialty is writing on politics and the Muslim rebellion – is also writing about Pia.
First off, I am proud to say I didn’t start out as a journalist but as a fiction writer and for me, no subject is off limits. Especially love.
It sort of balances all the evil, depressing and murderous things I regularly write about. Love has to be part of life or we would just be leading “lives of quiet desperation,” as that American visionary Henry David Thoreau wrote shortly before our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal was born.
People have asked me why we know Pia. I met Pia through Alan who hired her to be first a writer, then an editor of his Internet lifestyle magazine Link. Even back then, Alan was already telling Pia she should see Europe.
So when Pia finally said she and Steeve wanted to go to Italy, Alan gave them tips for their journey. Alan goes regularly to Berlin to lecture on Internet journalism, and then passes by Italy on his way home.
To put you in that romantic mood, I’m including a YouTube video below of Frank Sinatra’s “Three Coins in the Fountain”, which refers to the fountain that Steeve and Pia visited.
The video’s intro starts with a panoramic view of the central fountain at the Piazza Navona, where the Fontana di Trevi is located on one side.
So, just play it while you look at their photographs.
I asked Pia to give me some for uploading for her fans and here they are.
Coins in the fountain
The fountain is called Fontana di Trevi and is the most famous lovers’ fountain in the world. It was originally built to be like our very own MWSS – the end point of a waterworks system where fresh water was brought to Rome through 14 miles of pipes. The original was built over 400 years ago but the way it’s designed now was put up only in 1762.
A 1954 movie made it popular for lovers to toss coins in the fountain with their backs turned. If you do that, the saying goes, you would come back to Rome and seal your love forever. All those tossed coins are gathered nightly and placed in a fund to help Rome’s poor.
Pia and Steeve inside St. Peter’s Church in the Vatican
No trip to Rome is complete without visiting the colossal St. Peter’s Church.
They were both struck by this sculpture of the Holy Mother and Jesus Christ, located at the entrance of St. Peter’s Church. They don’t recall which one of them took the photo.
Steeve and Pia did not join any tour group but walked all day long in the streets of Rome, using a guidebook and an audio tour – finding beauty in unexpected places.
Which I guess was one of the reasons they were beaming :
And now I’ll have to meet my deadline. I’ll upload some more photos soon.