Today is Wednesday and it is bloody cold here – never mind the “Cool” or the “Chilly”! I pity the poor waiter at outdoor cafes & retaurants; no business and freezing standing around.
Yesterday I stopped by the Campo dei Fiori for the butcher, and the baker (can’t find the candle maker!) and there was this lovely ceremony going on with the police band, various dignitaries and finely dressed senior officers to lay wreathes at the foot of the statue of Giordano Bruno, a philosopher who was burnt at the stake in 1600 for heresy. Lots of speeches – I think about the importance of free speech – and music etc. Interesting that 500 years on Romans are still living with Bruno as if in the present and most Canadians haven’t a clue who Louis Riel was.

Saturday night there was a large protest which closed down Vittorio Emmanual II right outside my window. Not a clue what it was about as a lot of the signs just said “UAAR” but it was very much a demonstration on the very real efficiency of the Carabinieri. They handled the whole thing perfectly – diverting traffic well ahead of the demostrators, holding back the general public and while they did surround the protestors and there were plenty of riot police in full gear including horses; they were very careful to not push or pressure anyone until eventually everything seemed to break up of its own accord. I was impressed!

Then on the other end of the scale, there appears to be a film crew now well established on the Piazza Navona and that looks like complete chaos and very Italian with lots of screaming and waving of arms and pulling of hair and billowing clouds of cigarette smoke! Almost a caricature really. Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures so you’ll just have to close your eyes and imagine!

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