A different perspective about Rome during the lockdown 2020
Few days after having completed my work about Naples during the lockdown, I left for Rome to photograph the Italian capital as well, during these dark times. Rome is normally packed with tourists, in any season, specially around those famous spots as Fontana di Trevi or piazza Navona, just to name two.
It has always been difficult, for me, to get a clean, professional shot of those “hotspots” during normal times because overcrowded. A human wall so thick to make impossible, most of the time, to reach the first row in front of the masterpiece you want to admire. I was wondering, on my way to Rome, if also in such a difficult time like the one we are in, the situation would have been the same, better o worse. Of course, there is a lockdown in place, all over Italy, but Rome is still a city of 3 million of people and many of them still have to move either to commute to work or to buy food. So, I was expecting a certain amount of passers by around.
I found an empty city. I basically was by myself with the constant presence of the Police at any corner. I had the chance to admire and photograph masterpieces like Fontana di Trevi as well as La Barcaccia in piazza di Spagna totally alone. I did understand, in a certain way, what the Stendhal syndrome feels like when standing in front of such overwhelming beauty. I finally had the time and chance to get a full shot of such attractions without being shaken by the crowd around me or being obliged to crop the frame because of the arms and legs halfway in the shot.
I’m not happy about the fact of being alone in a city. A city is a live environment where human beings live, interact, shout and eat, all together. Moving around an empty and silent city is very nice for a short while. After that it gets uncomfortable to be all alone. Shops, streets, music, all is shut down and this kind of “day after” situation is definitely gives goosebumps. But I also realized, comparing these moments with those of the normal life, that maybe we are too many in some places. Of course I understand that everybody wants to see the beauty that the world has to offer. But I also think that access should be, in some way, controlled to avoid the making of a visit, a moment dreamt an entire life, a nightmare.
Going back to my experience in Rome, I definitely felt privileged to photograph and visit Rome in such occasion and being aware of that I like to share here some of the shots showing an unexpected side of Rome, with almost no human presence. A great opportunity but with the hope this will be the very last time to live such a situation. To whom it may be interested, I post the link to an article that the online travel magazine, LatitudesLife, published about my work in Rome. The last lines are to say “Thank you” to the law enforcement, particularly the Vigili di Roma Capitale and Carabinieri, the two “corps” I interacted the most since they stopped me very often to check on my reasons to be around. They have always been very kind and professional keeping at the minimum the checking time. We shared the days of Easter and Easter Monday on the streets of Rome, smiling and waving at each other while exchanging the best wishes. These following pictures want to be, in some way, a tribute to those women and men as well as doctors and nurses that had to spend their lives and times to take care of our safety and health.