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Locked down but not out in Italy

Singing from the balconies! One nice thing about this crisis ... solidarity! “Guess you’re not living like a tourist anymore,” was the funny, truthful and somewhat gut-wrenching message of a friend the day the lockdown in Italy began. Today is day 6. My beloved Italia has been hit hard with the COVID19 epidemic. With the second largest elderly population in the world, the epidemic has meant a disproportionate amount of deaths in the country. So though I haven’t been worried about contracting it myself, this isn’t about me or someone like me who, if contracted it would probably have a sucky couple of weeks and then recover. It is about if someone like me contracted it and then spread it to a person with a complicated health history or an elderly person with a weakened immune system. Eerily orderly: Lines for the grocery store, each person one meter apart In a country with no concept (and no physical room really) for personal space, and in a city with reproachable hygie

Pasqua e Pasquetta in Rome

People from all over the world flock to Rome for Easter weekend. Conversely, expats usually flock out of Rome for Easter weekend. A four day weekend is hard to come by, so most non-Roman, Roman inhabitants take advantage of the time to travel or to go home.

I did not. Nor did I actually choose to stay. It was the default option of someone who wasn't quite organized enough and wasn't quite free enough to go away.

This isn't my first Easter weekend in Rome, and despite being a practicing Catholic, I have never gone to the Via Crucis and I have never gone to the Vatican for mass. It is something that in part I regret, but in part, fighting thousands of tourists for a space to stand or see, not really seeing or hearing anything, in a sense takes away from the point of reflection and prayer.

I used the very quiet weekend instead to go to my neighborhood church, to observe Roman neighborhoods quiet down and close as the weekend progressed and to admire the thousands of tourists stream in, some on pilgrimage, some on holiday.

Here are some shots of the weekend:

Last minute grocery shopping: Colombo cakes
and chocolate Easter eggs.
Easter weekend is apparently renowned
for being rainy and  variable.

Interesting Statue basking in the rays of the sun
near the Vatican
Line to get into St. Peter's


Easter Pink Around Rome

Rainbow, faint, but it is there!