Dear Blog Readers,
After a hiatus of over a year, I am back, more or less. The last post I wrote was on March 3rd, 2020, shortly before Italy went into a national lockdown on March 9th.
It is strange to look back at those photos in the last post, Rome in the Time of Coronavirus– tourists in masks at the Vatican and Trevi fountain. Masks were still a novelty. I seemed so naive. A few weeks later there were no more tourists at the Trevi Fountain.
To date, Italy has lost over 130,000 lives to Covid-19 and the country, like the rest of the world, is grappling with debates over vaccines and the return to normal habits whether that means going to the office, school, or a movie.
For a year, my colleagues and I at the Associated Press worked non-stop, reporting almost exclusively on the coronavirus and its effects on every aspect of life in Italy. We suited up in sanitary garb with masks and goggles and made our way into Covid wards and intensive care units to report on the dramatic struggles to save lives on the front lines.
We reported on schools, museums, restaurants, stores, gyms and hairdressers closing, adapting to safety measures, opening and closing again. We visited nursing homes and plastic hug rooms. We filmed police blocks, empty beaches, deserted monuments and vacant parks.
We filmed and reported on vaccinations centers and hubs and filmed people lining up to get Pfizer, Moderna and Astra-Zeneca and covered demonstrations by no-vaxers.
Finally, this month things have changed dramatically, Italy is opening up again and work is picking up. In the first week of September, I traveled to Venice to cover the Film Festival on the Lido, always a spectacularly glamorous event, even in times of Covid. Of course there were the inevitable Covid rules, a red carpet with the fans kept behind a wall and stars had to get their temperature measured on arrival.
Dogs were exempted from these rules.
Then this past week it was off again on a trip with Pope Francis to Budapest, Hungary for a morning followed by four days in Slovakia. The Pope, who was in the hospital for ten days in July where he had a part of his colon removed, was in great shape. I did not see him wear a mask the entire trip while the press corps that followed him did wear them.
I started this blog in 2011 and in 10 years I wrote over 400 blog posts. It would be impossible for me at this point to continue with that intensity, so I will consider this new blog more of a personal journal, a jumble of notes and photos to recount my Italian tales.
22 thoughts on “The Blog is Back”
I do like your American point of view.
As Italian a different perspective has been very useful to understand, sometimes with a smile.
For the Americans too I think it helped to depict the Italian mindset (clue: there are many).
Thank you, Lorenzo. I really appreciate your support. It is hard to find the time and energy to do the blog so nice to know that someone likes to read it.
I have been missing you as well. I love your posts, particularly your comments covering the Pope. Welcome back!
Susan, thank you so much for your comment. I should have written more about the Budapest-Slovakia trip in this post. It was so interesting. The Pope is in great physical shape. None of us could believe it. The man spent 10 days in the hospital in July, had a chunk of his colon cut out, and he managed to keep a killer schedule on the trip. The press corps was wiped up and he seemed like he was constantly roaring and ready to go. The most interesting event for me was the visit to the Lunik IX district where more than 4,000 Roma people life in total poverty, no running water and electricity. It reminded me of a visit with Benedict XVI to a Palestinian refugee camp near Bethlehem years ago. He had a fairly long press conference during the relatively short flight back. Unfortunately, he rambles a bit and so there were not that many questions asked.
I cast my positive vote of appreciation with Lorenzo, Trish.
I am just back in Rome after 14 months away. So glad to be here.
Bravo for your new start on the blog. We shall be patient.
Thank you, Wendy. I am looking forward to seeing you here in Rome and hearing of your challenges and adventures.
Welcome back !!!! I have missed my peek into Italy through your lens when we can’t be there at all.
Thank you so much Lin, I hope I can provide some interesting peeks into the Italy that I know and love.
Glad to see you here again… ! And happy to know you are strong and now able to report on matters non-COVID. Dogs on the Red Carpet! Please no one poop on our pop parade!
Hey Tom, I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to finally be covering non-covid stories. It took a pandemic to put everything into perspective.
What a joy to wake up and see your post. It’s only 9:40 AM our time, and yet you’ve made my day already! Mille grazie, Trisha!
How sweet of you Howard. Did it really make your day? I am so flattered. Thank you for being so supportive!
I have missed your blog as well as Italy. We will be back in the country next week which will give me (I hope!) some blog-worthy material.
Thank you, Laurel. Great to hear from you. Italy is full of blog-worthy material just waiting for you.
Welcome back and hurrah for the return of your blog. I have greatly missed it, and am so excited to see it reinstated. Wishing you and your family good luck and especially, good health.
Thank you, Jeanne! Fortunately, we are all healthy, I hope you and yours are too.
So wonderful to see you back, much love as always, now I better get cracking and get back to my blog xx lisa
Hey Lisa, great to hear from you. Yes, these blogs are a lot of work, but they are fun to do.
It’s great to have your blog back.
Awesome job Trisha, is always a pleasure to read your articles
Thank you, Massimo. And I am looking forward to taking another one of specialty tours and doing a blog post on it. In case any one is interested, here are the links to posts I did years ago on fascinating tours that Massimo was leading at that time.
Yay, welcome back from Australia!
Hope to get back to Italy next yearand in the meantime will enjoy your new posts.
Thank you, Paula!!