According to tradition, when St Paul was decapitated his head bounced on the ground three times and where it bounced rose ... More
Abbazia delle Tre Fontane
According to tradition, when St Paul was decapitated his head bounced on the ground three times and where it bounced rose three springs. This is where the Abbazia delle Tre Fontane was founded, which during the Jubilees became a place of pilgrimage where faithful followers received plenary indulgence. The Abbazia is a complex of three churches built where the three fountains emerge. It is set in a tranquil location, surrounded by eucalyptus trees planted in 1868 by Trappist monks who, still famous for the liquor they produce from eucalyptus plants and their excellent chocolate, became proprietors of the land (which had been left since 1600 due to its barrenness). The three churches are the SS Vincenzo and Anastasio, the largest of the three, Santa Maria in Scala Coeli and San Paolo alle Tre Fontane.
The Tre Fontane is a nice quick stop while visiting Rome. The church is small but worth the visit for its historical value.
Make sure to buy some chocolate from the monks who live at the Tre Fontane. It's honestly the best ever and you can only buy it at the site. Make sure to try every kind and bring some home for friends and family; it will be the best purchase you make!!!!!!
If you're staying in Rome long enough, the abbey's beautiful, but it's a long bus ride to get there. The abbey marks the place where St. Paul was beheaded. Legend says his head bounced three times, and a fountain sprouted at each place. Seeing the shrines over the fountains themselves, my cynicism popped up (they're pretty far apart, prompting thoughts of a flying head), but the shrines themselves are very moving. At each one, a different kind of offering is made. In one, slips of paper with intentions are slid through the grate, in another, small coins have been tossed in (I unfortunately now forget what was in the last).
The abbey is essentially abandoned, so it's very peaceful, and much of the grounds look like a tropical park. No visit to the abbey would be complete without visiting the small shop, where they sell monk-made liquor (incredibly strong) and chocolate that is positively life-changing (get the one with hazlenuts in it).
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