On the day that Andy Murray won Wimbledon for the first time, 7 July 2013, we were in Garbatella, trying – and failing – to survive La Tempesta
. That rain is as memorable to us as the victory no doubt is to Sir Andy. We recently survived something similar, Il Nubifragio of 5 November 2017.
Picture it, on Via Prenestina, clouds ever blackening, and then breaking. The tram you want to get on doesn’t arrive. The tram that does arrive you don’t get on. Instead you sit in the tram shelter with your umbrella over your legs. The tram you didn’t get on pulls away and not far away grinds to a halt. It has broken down. It empties of the people who were on it, almost all of whom return to the tram shelter. Realising a broken down tram would prevent other trams running, you head for a bus stop.
From it, as the seconds turn to minutes, and the minutes turn to tens of minutes, and finally you’ve been there over an hour, pacing about, under the inadequate cover of a bus shelter, to get your steps up, thanking The Big Fella that you’re scared – you’re not, you’re really not scared – of thunder and lightening, you take some photographs.
No buses stopping that are going anywhere you want to go, you eventually head back to the tram stop as the broken down one has now seemingly miraculously started working again.
Your desired tram – 14 for Termini – eventually arrives. It passes through the localised flooding on Largo Preneste and the tram itself starts to take on water. This was a cue for, ‘un fiume proprio’ (‘a proper river’), ‘una bomba di acqua’ (‘a water bomb’), and the most joyous of all, ‘il mare – mamma mia, GUARDA’ (‘the sea – mamma mia, LOOK’).
As ever after any cloud burst, Rome compensates you with things in reflection and with other things, too. The aftermath of Il Nubifragio was no exception.
Beautiful, no? And surely worth any amount of soaking.
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