Last week, I wrote about pre-lockdown travel, and the almost mystical imagery it took on (at least in our minds) during our time of Corona lockdown.

For those who know Rome, it is a beautiful, lively city always full of people on its streets and picturesque squares. It was tough to experience it during lockdown, when the streets were virtually empty and its residents confined to their homes.

When we finally could get out and about – within city limits – in May, my youngest son and I resumed the long walks we usually favor.

It was strange seeing our city so deserted. We live in the center, and took long walks around all of the monuments and squares that are generally teeming with both Romans and tourists. In those early days and weeks following lockdown, they were pretty much empty.

Seeing Piazza di Spagna, Pantheon, and Piazza Venezia virtually empty was strange at first.

For my family and me, seeing so much of Rome shuttered was definitely hardest. Museums, hotels and restaurants are always buzzing in Italy’s capital, so seeing them shuttered was an odd sensation.

In the weeks since lockdown ended, it’s good to see them slowly coming to life. This is especially important since tourism is an integral part of the Roman economy, so it’s good to see that European tourists have begun making their way back.

Rome, Italy / Kimberly Sullivan

We’re all anxious to start reclaiming our pre-Corona lives, and it’s good to see people getting back to filling Roman streets, albeit with social distancing, masks in indoor spaces, and much more dining al fresco.

We’ll see how the Eternal City transforms during the rest of summer and early autumn.

While we love being “tourists” in our own city, it’s important that others can come and enjoy it, too, and for the tourist economy to get up and running once more.

Next week I’ll write about post-lockdown travel, and our first baby steps to normal life in these anything-but-normal times.

Rome, Italy / Kimberly Sullivan