Oct 27 2020
Rome is not a sea of tranquility but this gets close. Tourists are home sheltering in place or restricting their visits to more nearby locations. Many locals work from home or are out of work altogether, reducing the normally intense traffic.
We chose this time to come to get to enjoy Rome without the crowds of tourists, and when the streets are not quite so full of Romans in their cars and on the buses. Italians are normally friendly. They seem even more so now, not so pressured by crowds and traffic.
We breezed through security. There were just three people with us.
St Peter’s never seemed so big. I had a relaxed 15 minutes in front of the Pieta- “relaxed” and “Pieta” have never before been in the same sentence except. Except now. It’s great for us. The empty shops and restaurants tell the opposite story.
There’s a stunningly decorated side chapel with gilded angels by Bernini which is reserved for prayer. We have never gone in as we are not religious but it was empty and there was no guard although there is usually one. What a treat! I do not know who did the figures at the join of the walls and the ceiling, but they are fantastic!
Masks are everywhere, people keep their distance, the businesses have hand sanitizer, even the Metro entrances. They are trying.