Tag: Uncategorized

Testaccio: a portrait at Christmas

It hasn’t been an easy year for the small shops and enterprises in Testaccio. Another supermarket opened, putting pressure on a neighbouring deli and one of the area’s oldest butchers; more businesses closed, losing intense, important battles that have gone on for decades. Even for those legendary establishments that represent the area more than its…

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Bignè di San Giuseppe

An awful lot of saints are celebrated in Italy. They have almost twice as many bank holidays as their European neighbours, despite the fact that a number of festivals have since been done away with, returning to the status of feriali (work days). San Giuseppe (St. Joseph’s Day) on March 19th, is one of those…

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Rome welcomes Francesco I

I woke this morning to the thud of helicopters overhead as Rome prepared to enthrone its new Pope. Public transport was free until 14.00, a gift from the city to its people and pilgrims on this festival day. Pope Francesco I’s face had already been plastered onto the back of the sight-seeing double deckers and…

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Organised chaos

To the untrained eye, Rome can seem like a particularly disorganised city. The energy of its squares and markets, the cacophony of the traffic and the enthusiasm of its sports fans and pilgrims may overwhelm, but one of Rome’s greatest gifts to its citizens is its ability to calmly organise chaos. Take yesterday, for example….

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Pope Francesco I

In a city where the Pope is more important than the President, it’s not surprising that even the flyposting sometimes takes on a strange fervency. I found this photo pinned to a wall the morning after the new Pope’s election. The old women chat about his kind smile in front of the church of Santa…

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