People of Rome : Trastevere and the new beginning after coronavirus in Italy
Do you think that neighborhoods can’t talk? I always thought they could!
If neighborhoods could talk . They would, each one in its own language…just like people. Each neighborhood is able to tell its own story: maybe through a glimpse, through a stone, or even the balcony of a house. Particularly churches, for example, are as full of stories as an alley, where life goes on as usual.
I crisscrossed Rome after 67 days of lockdown. It was the reopening of phase 2 and, after walking for a long time, I found myself in the middle of Trastevere. One of the most fascinating neighborhoods in Rome, it represents Romanity in the collective imagery.
AS IT USED TO BE
I thought that it would be nice to hear the noise of the artisan shops, the heels hitting the cobblestone streets . Lovely chats outside, children running through the medieval alleys of Trastevere. From the restaurants reopening, to the tourists wandering around a neighborhood that finally regains its own identity. Especially here in Trastevere, I understood how long is the road to go back to what we all call normal.
I’m close to Santa Maria in Trastevere, where I enjoy a coffee in a trasteverino bar.
SILENCE YOU CAN HEAR
Well, I look around and, after a while, I perceive an unusual silence. I keep listening to this silence that I actually like and that speaks to me…“Enjoy the Silence”, as the Depeche Mode song goes.
Silence embraces me and I take a look to every single detail of this wonderful square. I notice a woman who, with great dignity and tenderness, is sitting on the floor asking for a few coins to buy a sandwich.
In her gaze and through her gestures I can perceive all the difficulties of this moment. Suddenly, I remember that today is the anniversary of the birth of Pope Woytjla, always concerned with the needs of the poor.
I ask for the check and I go to the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere: one of the Medieval jewels of the city. The light invades the interior of the temple and highlights the wonderful marble floor and the frescoes, inside the many chapels. Here, in the house of the Lord, the chairs reserved for the believers are positioned far from each other, to allow social distancing. At this time, I stop for a minute in order to admire the beauty of this church .If neighborhoods could talk, they would tell me how beautiful Rome is, maybe too much…Caput Mundi.
I’m late and I decide to return home, but not before the sunset. That is the perfect time to fully enjoy the lighting on the mosaic of the facade of the Basilica.
While I am still paying attention to the colorful decorations, I realize that the silence is gradually fading. The sound of the tables of the cafès outisde are now taking possession of their space once again. Young waiters yelling, the smell of food and the lime and mint flavors of a mojito will follow me home.
I bring this perfume with me. The perfume of hope, of economic recovery, the scent of awareness and the certainty that everything has come full circle.