Yesterday was the third car-free Sunday in Rome this year. Since we couldn’t get out of town, we decided to go for a walk in the historic centre. We ended at the Vittorio Emmanuele Monument, otherwise known as the white typewriter. Although the kids had been complaining of tired legs, they insisted they wanted to climb up the steps.
As we got closer we saw that there were barriers at the entrance forming an orderly channel for the stream of people trying to get inside. There were dozens of police and vigili watching over the procession up the steps.
At the first level is the tomb to the unknown soldier, which held the attention of most of the foreign tourists; the Italians, however, headed higher up to the left, massing at the entrance to a makeshift chapel where the body of security agent, Nicola Calipari, was lying in state.
Only minutes after successfully negotiating the release of Italian hostage, Giuliana Sgrena, Calipari died while shielding Sgrena from “friendly fire” on the way to the airport. Said Sgrena,
The most difficult moment was when I saw
the person who had saved me
die in my arms.