Living in Rome
It is difficult to write about Rome without mentioning the still overwhelming presence of the Pope and the Vatican. As is the custom on Christmas and Easter day, the Pope gives its benediction to the city of Rome (urbi) and to the world (orbi). After living here for six years, I finally made it to St Peter’s square for the famous blessing. There was no surprise for being there: it was crowded, I could just about find a little space in-between Bernini’s columns to see the Pope’s balcony in the distance, and his speech was rather monotonous. The atmosphere reflected a highly organized, systematic event, rather than a special occasion.