Saturday, September 19, 2020

Kayaking around Italy

Lake no. 8, Albano, located just 22 km from Rome.

It’s an old volcano and it's about 150 meters deep.  It’s at the base of Castel Gandolfo which since the 1600s has been the summer residence of the popes, or at least it was up until Francis arrived at the Vatican as he stopped going there, a pity for the local tourism.  There’s also a small train that goes there directly from St. Peter’s. 

A very pleasant two-hour paddle around this lake. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

No Mask day in Rome, September 5th, 2020.

After London, Berlin and Zurich the “No Mask” day demonstration was held in Rome and attracted a few thousand people who are staunchly against wearing masks and vaccines. 


The event, which was organized by the extreme left and a handful of “rebel” doctors  was held right next to Rome’s famous “Mouth Of Truth” which was made famous in the 1953 movie “Roman Holiday” with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.  Security was tight with most people who weren’t wearing masks (unlike your correspondent).







Monday, March 16, 2020

Virus time in the Eternal City.

March 16th Some scenes of Rome during the 2020 virus assault.

A first for a supermarket, the one near our place: they put up a sheet of plexiglass which separates the cashiers from the customers.  Also, on the floor are strips of black scotch tape which indicate the appropriate distance to keep between customers!

March 16th

March 18th

March 18th With some idiots (including fathers) playing soccer in our courtyard).

March 22nd

 ...and empty soccer fields.

Living on a prayer?

March 24th Our nearby and empty fruit and vegetable market.

March 25th-26th Where the streets have no name (as U2 would sing). 


March 27th

Empty, like the market. 

March 29th

April 3rd

For Genesis's extraordinary concert at the Circus Maximus in 2007 there were 500,000 of us on hand for that epic show, indeed a far cry from 0 people at 12 noon on April 3rd at the very same venue.

April 5th, Palm Sunday (but with no palms).

 Spot-checks at San Giovanni. 

 Jogging (backwards). 

 April 6th, downtown Rome around 11.30 am.  

Santa Maria Maggiore, one of Rome's seven basilicas.   

April 10th.

St. John's Basilica. 


The Circus Maximus was once the world's largest stadium which could hold up to 300,000 people during the chariot races.  Quite the thing to see it completely empty (and that's where in 2007 we saw the free Genesis show, a mere 500,000 of us on hand for that tremendous show!). 

A totally empty Mouth of Truth which was made famous the world over by the 1953 movie with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, "Roman Holiday".

The totally deserted Vatican Museums. 

Rome's central Piazza Navona. 

The French Embassy honours Italy. 

Largo Argentina and its lonely cats. 

Even Rome's city buses are empty. 

April 11th. 

Rome's famous Via Veneto, deserted as well. 

The Spanish Steps. 

The most visited monument in the world, the Coliseum. 

April 14th. 

Piazza del Quirinale, Rome's highest square and the Quirinale Presidential Palace. 

April 15th.  More of the Spanish Steps, Via dei Condotti and its high-class fashion stores, City Hall, the Roman Forum and other sites. 

A sign on a Rome bus. 

The balcony of Rome's mayor Virginia Raggi with the banner that says, "Everything will be ok".

April 16h.

The very tranquil Tiber river with no boating activity whatsoever. 

FAO, the U.N.s Food and Agricultural Organization.

The memorial near the Circus Maximus to the 9/11 tragedy. 

The Baths of Caracalla (where a few years ago I saw old Neil Young in concert). 

April 17th.  Scenes of Rome's Pyramid and the Basilica of St. Peter and Paul outside of the walls. 

April 17th, evening shots.

The Campidoglio, Rome's City Hall.

Palazzo Chigi, the seat of the Italian government. 

April 18th and the city's central Piazza del Popolo.

April 21st the EUR neighbourhood where they also shot the funeral scene in Bond's "SPECTRE" movie. 

The old PalaEur arena, the site if I'm not mistaken of where old Cassius Clay won his 1960 Olympic gold medal as well of many memorable concerts I saw there such as AC/DC, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Tina Turner, Deep Purple. Dream Theatre, Dire Straits, Genesis and Bryan Adams.  

April 23rd Villa Borghese.

April 25th the Aqueduct Park. 

April 26th the "Queen Of The Roads", the Appian Way, aka the Appia Antica (it was only built in 312 B.C. and is still used today).