I am back in Rome, and yet I am not.

I am certain things will soon start improving at a faster pace here, but I was still required to respect a 14 day quarantine, and not leave my apartment. It is almost over, but I confess I started losing my marbles a bit around day 9. My friends and family have been fantastic and have kept me company in many different ways, one of which I would love to share with you here.

You have already met my friend and colleague Alessandra Mazzoccoli, she has kindly provided pictures and ideas for this blog. Ale and I often talk about about how Rome’s complicated beauty acts as a balm on our minds and hearts when we are feeling low or troubled. We both turn to her when we feel we are wandering too far down dark paths and need to be pulled back.

Every day, Ale goes out on her bike and makes videos and takes pictures (you can enjoy them on her Facebook page A Zonzo: rambles in Rome, and, and every day of my quarantine she sent some to me to lift my spirits. It worked. She has such a deep understanding of Rome’s more intimate, quiet, poetic dimensions, the ones that make her more accessible and easier to fall in love with. It takes time and patience to overcome both the faded grandeur and the chaos, to block out the louder sounds and catch the whispers and murmurings that can be so soothing and enchanting. But it is worth it.

I asked Ale if I could share my favorites pictures with you here, without further comment because no comment is needed, and she agreed. I want to offer you the comfort and solace I felt while looking at them in the strange isolation of my quarantine. Like a window on the beauty of the world we can look through for now, and a door we can throw open and walk though when you will join us here.

Grazie Ale, amica preziosa.


9 responses

  1. Glad you are safely back in Rome and are continuing to share your insights and those of your friends with us. These are beautiful photographs that remind us how much we miss Rome, but also give us hope of seeing it again in the not too distant future. Take good care and stay safe.

  2. These words are so true, personal and touching and so appreciated during this time. Being with you in person is missed but seeing you online on ‘Mondays…’ in Rome and reading your stories makes the distance disappear. Francesca, can you share the place in the photos with the blue ceiling, so beautiful. Grazie, Evey

    • Thank you for your kind words, dear Evey, I hope all is well. That picture was taken in the Passetto del Biscione, around the corner from Campo de’ Fiori, between Piazza del Biscione and Piazza Teatro di Pompeo.

  3. Cara, Francesca, these pictures are beautiful! I can see why they lifted your spirit. They have done the same for me. Thank you for sharing.

    I’m so happy your quarantine is about over. I can’t imagine what you’ve been through but I do know you are an amazingly strong person. Some day I hope to walk amongst Rome’s beauty again with you as a guide. 🙂

  4. Dear Francesca thank you (and thank you to Alessandra) for the special pictures that catch the more hidden heart of Rome and bring back many cherished memories. The main archeological sites are well advertised and documented, and rightfully so, but there is much more to Rome than the Colosseum, the Forum, etc. Hopefully we will walk down those familiar streets again next January.
    Buona passeggiata,
    Fulvio and Betsy

  5. Cara Francesca, Se non ci sbagliamo domani dovresti essere libera. Cosa farai per celebrare la tua liberta’? Le fotografie di Alessandra hanno catturato posti a noi molto famigliari. Fulvio ha fatto fotografie simili degli stessi posti, per esempio i cortili nascosti nei palazzi di via Giulia. Noi abbiamo una foto di un furgoncino pieno di fiori davanti allo stesso palazzo in quella piazzetta ( ci sfugge il nome ) vicino a via Giulia. Ci sembra che all’epoca all ‘angolo c’era un negozietto dove abbiamo comperato guarnizioni per la Bialetti. Complimenti ed un grazie anche da parte nostra ad Alessandra. Buona passeggiata domani e un affettuoso abbraccio,Fulvio e Betsy

  6. As always, Francesca, your shared comments and photos pour warm water over our parched souls as the pandemic drags along. Your descriptions, your shared pictures, all take me right back to beautiful Rome and lovely you. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful way to refresh!

  7. On a rainy, gloomy day in Vermont, seeing these photos, with that remarkable light we always associate with Rome, was simply wonderful. Thanks!


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