The Romans: life scenes in Rome

Young people
Nuns, priest and monks
Leisure time, wealthy people
Poor people, beggars, street musicians, immigrants and bums
When all things come to an end...

Nuns, priests, and monks

Rome nuns and priests
A flock of nuns chatting, reflecting and hobnobbing with tourists at Michelangelo's Campidoglio (Capitol Hill)

All aspects of Italian life and culture have a human and humorous touch, especially in Rome. Even nuns and priests in Rome are joyful and serene.

Nuns having a break

Right: no one is immune from the national passion of the "telefonino" - cell phone - a priest chats in the street

Rome priest with cell phone telefonino

Devout Franciscan friars attending the Pope sermon at noon on Sunday (the "Angelus")
Same group, a few minutes later, having a snack


Romans are also masters of enjoying leisure time. Wealthy Romans always find new ways to relax and to have a great life. Rowing is traditionally an elitarian sport, as one needs to be introduced in the rowing clubs of the Tiber. A new elitarian fashion is to attend beaches and pools on the Tiber shores, right in the city centre.

Rowing and basking in the sun along the Tiber shores
Pools by the Tiber, near the Vatican

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By contrast, in Rome you find naturally also poor people and beggars, although the latter are usually not Italian.

Rome poor people and beggars
Rome beggars
A beggar near a church, hoping for a caring hand.
A gipsy beggar, an old lady, near the Coliseum. Her povery is enlarged by the contrast with the size of the monument

Most poor people in Rome nowadays are immigrants. Nearly 3 millions settled in Italy in the past 25 years. They are usually hard workers, who can find mostly humble and unrewarding jobs. They form communities and they developed ingeniously some sort of own local services.

Rome poor people
Immigrants in Rome
Homeless people sleeping under a bridge of the Tiber. They are usually not Italian. A popular Roman saying about falling into poverty is "to sleep under the bridges of the blond river" (IE the Tiber, whose waters have a light tonality).
Eastern European immigrants having a hair cut in a park, just in front of the Coliseum. Immigrants can find only humble works, and the large majority of them are decent, harmless people.

The majority of Romans have a job and are settled down. Most work as state employees, shop-owners, and professionals. Yet the town, because of its peculiar history, didn't reach a complete industrial development, and so you also find people living of creative and laborious expedients, which in time might become fashionable professional activities. Some jobless persons will become alienated. They too take life with joy, and they will become regular bums in tourists sites



Top: a band of street musicians


A bum, at St. Peter's square

Rome bum at St. Peter

A policeman tries to catch him

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When all things come to an end...

The vast majority of Romans work humbly with goodwill. Upon retirement the family is the centre of all activities and interests, although as it happens worldwide, old people feel increasingly alone.


Top: an old lady spending her time on a bench, watching the world go by.

Left: An old nun, carrying her weight

Funeral in Rome

The last trip

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When all things come to an end, Romans are never really alone... they cherish cats, which are their companions in gardens and in cemeteries.

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