At midnight there was a single low growl of thunder and the rain began to fall, absorbing the cloud of pollution that’s been hanging over Rome for the past ten days. It also reduced the incredibly high level of static electricity in the air. Every time we got out of the car recently, our hair was standing on end as if we’d been clasping a van der Graaf generator.
The down side is that rain in Rome is as bad for traffic as snow is in London or Paris. Crosstown traffic slows to gridlock because people act as if they’re driving in a completely different environment. This is particularly true in Italy where people treat their cars like their shoes, swinging out into oncoming traffic just to avoid a puddle by the roadside.