Ask Me Anything March edition
Thinking about time & displacement + a visit to some magnificent frescos
This is such a strange time of year. March, with its fickle weather, has always been my least favorite month in Rome. Not winter anymore and not quite spring means I leave the house in my heavy winter scarf and bright orange cashmere hat only to walk a few blocks and realize too late that I am ridiculously overdressed. Or the sky is blue when I leave the house without my umbrella. You can guess how that ends.
Marzo pazzarello guarda il sole e prendi l'ombrello
Of course, it’s Rome so when the sun is shining and that blue sky is filled with white puffy clouds it is glorious. Like that March three years ago.
This month I have had a lot of visitors from all over the world and they have all used the phrases pre-covid/after-covid. There is a distinct line dividing life in late 2019 and that punishing spring of 2020. It is the afterward where things get blurry. Three years ago here in Italy, we were all inside. Time was suspended and the life we had been living disappeared slowly and all at once.
I have been thinking about time a lot. (our clocks spring forward this weekend) We all have a different point where the world shifted off its axis. My Instagram feed has been full of these. For some (I am keenly aware of how lucky I am in that my losses were easily fixed), it’s when schools closed, for others canceled trips and weddings, and graduations. For me, it was a high-placed friend’s sparse message telling me the airports were still open (I immediately changed my ticket and canceled meetings, and raced home to Rome on what was the last Easy Jet flight from London for months) and the knee-buckling silence of my normally boisterous street. The street is noisy again and restaurants are full and tickets for the Colosseum, the Vatican Museums, and Galleria Borghese are selling out. (Make your reservations now!)
Time is suspended in a different more personal way now while we are in-between cities and homes and lives. It is disorienting but also freeing. I didn’t bring much with me for these next few months. It was a good what would I take in a fire exercise. A few things that didn’t get packed away in a container were sentimental like my Christmas ornaments and a tiny pair of socks that a newborn Noah wore home from the hospital. Some were things that make me happy in the chaos like a fancy French candle, my battered but comfortable leopard Sabah’s and I brought every single pair of my Printfresh pajamas (not an ad, I’m just genuinely obsessed with them.) Thankfully where we are staying has a good kitchen but I did bring a few spices, a tiny whisk, and my favorite knife.
What would you bring with you for a long time away from home? Do you have questions about what to pack for your Italy trip? Is there a museum in Rome or Venice you are curious about? Ask away in the comments.