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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.
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Tuesday, 16 April 2013
I had another good night, despite trams and other things outside. It was Easter Day in Rome and I hired a car after lots of various letter-writing and note-making, and drove to S. Maria Maggiore.
Then to St. Peter's, S. Giovanni Laterano and Santa Croce.
Here, established under the portico, a merchant was selling rosaries, images and photographs. Big crowds surged outwards - middle class and lower middle class. And they were determined to get away without loss of a moment; they were mad to get away as if fleeing from some frightful peril.
I also drove up to the Garibaldi Monument (Monte Gianicolo). All this in two hours. I did not feel like lunching wholesale in the hotel, so I went out and found a little trattoria, and ate there. About a dozen customers. Two clerkly young men with gay neckties, in confidential discussion. A group of three: an oldish, shabby, tousled woman with back so bowed that her head was almost at the level of the table; an old man, her husband with a hooked nose, very shabby and untidy, who smoked small cheap cigars the whole time; and a chocolate-uniformed friend who looked like a sleeping-car conductor but was not. The hooked nose and the chocolate person argued incessantly and raspingly; but they were excellent friends; the chocolate person felt the old man's pulse and the glands of his neck, and sneered, while the old woman grinned and steadily ate.
Then hired a horse cab, and went to the Pincio Gardens. Very dusty everywhere in Rome.
Paid bill and made arrangements, and then went for a walk. The Terme in front of the station was closed, but the church (I forget the name) was open, and I went in there and found in the vast place a congregation evidently waiting for a sermon. When I looked at my watch it was 5.25. Train due at 6. I hurried off. I only caught the train by six minutes. It left one minute late, but got to Naples on time.