More notes from the benches of the Farnese.

The two soldiers in the army Jeep guarding the French Embassy are bored. Sunday afternoon, the last day of June before the Ferie d’Augusto and the piazza is empty. No pretty female tourists for the soldiers to impress, the boys are stamping their feet and banging the side of their vehicle.

The small church to Santa Birgittae, open briefly on a Sunday afternoon, due to stay open until 5.30 has just been closed by a nun in complex headgear and long grey and white robes, ten minutes early. Seconds later a herd of nuns leave from a door further down the piazza, they are in a hurry, a further nun rushes to join them. They dash away, chatting, mostly African and Asian from what I can see of their faces. No children are playing in the piazza; do Italian children not play on Sundays? The fancy wine bar on the corner is empty, there is a sense here of a city being given over to tourists as its all gets too hot.

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