This week I’m taking a break from my jolly Zoom talks (my group talks start again on 29th July with a chat called “Breaking Rules and Squeezing Pediments: Bernini, Borromini and the Baroque”), and the gradual return of some onsite tours. 

Last week saw me showing delightful folk around the Parco Archeologico del Colosseo, the Vatican Museums and the Field of Mars, this week sees me floating around the Bay of Naples. 

Back in distant Day 41 of the Roman Quarantine, I wondered if a sailing holiday might be possible this year. It did seem rather unlikely, but here we are: a train from Rome to Formia (masked, every second seat blocked off), and a hired boat with my nautically minded husband and six friends.

As I write this we are anchored below the Castle of Ischia–a fortress dating to the 5th century BCE, rebuilt most recently in the fifteenth century by Alfonso V of Aragon–and have just polished off an aperitif of tzatiki (made by me, it’s the easiest thing ever: grate a cucumber or two, squeeze out water in kitchen paper, mix with lots of Greek yoghurt, grate a clove or two of garlic, add a good pinch of salt, a dribble of decent olive oil on top) and Prosecco.

The situation in Italy appears to remain stable. There are around 200 new cases every day (a number which oscillates around 1% of daily tests carried out), but an overall gradual decline in positive cases and hospital admissions which feels tentatively positive, with all due caution.

This week I’m sending out the first edition of a monthly newsletter with a few words, photos and links to things that may be of interest.

If I already have your email address from past tours or Zoom talks you’re probably already on the list (if you’d rather not be, unsubscribing is simple and I apologise for the intrusion). If you’d like to be added to the mailing list please email me at info at understandingrome dot com. 

All the best, Agnes