The sky was the bluest it has been in a long time. There was a bit of a breeze keeping things cool. We had a cappuccino at the bar, my second since mid-March, me keeping a respectful distance from The Main Squeeze, and then we ran for a bus.

So exciting, my first excursion off the Green Mountain since it all began.

A woman glared at me as I got on the bus, tapping her mask, because mine was still in my pocket. Trusty beat up old bit of T-shirt to the rescue, I clung on for dear life as the driver put his foot down and rattled down the hill. About ¾ of the seats have a sticker on, saying not to sit them to preserve a safe distance. TMS snagged one, while I tried to stay upright until the glaring woman got off. Bravely, I occupied her seat, confident that her mask and gloves would protect me. And then there we were, downtown.

Portrait of Jeremy Cherfas wearing a homemade mask at the bus terminus in Roma centro

Ready for my first trip in the centre. Yes, the mask is a home-made contraption.

Not that you would have known it. The streets were empty, in contrast to the big nearby park, which is absolutely heaving with people all day because lots of people are still not at work and all the kids are at home too.

Sant’Agostino was open, and mostly empty too, so we took the opportunity to admire the Caravaggio and the Rafaello and a lot of other beautiful stuff.

General view of altar in Sant’Agostino in Rome

Sant’Agostino altar

Statue of Madonna della Parte with thanks for babies born

Life goes on, virus or no.

Caravaggio’s painting of the Madonna dei Pellegrini

The Caravaggio painting is the big draw, but the rest of the church is impressive too.

Open bible next to a bottle of hand sanitiser

In God we trust, all others must disinfect their hands.

Saint Rita is big there, as an Augustine nun, and yesterday was her day. I assumed that she might be the patron saint of beekeepers, being as how as a child she was once enveloped by a cloud of white bees who did not harm her, but she isn’t. That honour goes to Ambrose, Gobnait (?) and Valentine.1

Window display of shop selling only rubber ducks in various incarnations

If you need a rubber duck, no matter what your preference, this new shop has you covered.

A few of the shops the via Swankissimo were already empty and vacant, but not much had changed overall. We wandered around, sat down for an expensive coffee, then returned to the bus stop and came back up the hill.

Ventaglio pastry in front of Vitti bar

After all that, to be able to sit with a very expensive cappuccino and pastry was well worth it

All is slowly returning to normal.

  1. What about St. Bernard of Clairvaux? I dunno; I’m searching online same as you. 

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