Michele and I returned from Rome a few days ago just before things began to shut down. Our plan had been to stay for another week but we reluctantly decided to go home as the coronavirus crisis began to grow.
This was far from our first trip to Italy. That took place in 1970 when we honeymooned there, going to Rome, Naples, Florence, Sicily and Venice. Since then, we return at least once a year, often as many as 3 or 4 times. Not only do we love Italy, it’s culture and cuisine but also the people. We have made many friends there.
We had been in Naples and Rome one winter some years ago and we realized that the warm weather places most New Yorkers head to in winter didn’t appeal to us at all. We preferred to be in Naples and Rome where we would find great food and wine, as well as relatively mild temperatures (compared to NYC). There was plenty to do – art shows, concerts, opera, museums, as well as great restaurants to try. So now we winter in Naples and Rome.
Just before we left for Italy, I read a book called “Rome: A History in Seven Sackings” by Matthew Kneale. It details the attacks that Rome has suffered at the hands of invaders from the Gauls to the Nazis. Each invasion took a terrible toll yet Rome survived and sometimes emerged all the better.
The current invader is the Novel Coronavirus and it is causing havoc in Rome, throughout Italy. We saw it and were saddened by it. But we firmly believe that this too shall pass. Rome will survive this, its eighth sacking. It is the Eternal City and we can’t wait to return.
Now the virus is in the US. Let’s all follow the example of the Italians and do everything we can to stop it. Michele and I plan to stay at home as much as we can and do what we usually do, enjoy Italian wine and food.