During the lockdown period, while the beauty of living terraces and balconies is something that Romans will never forget, the silence, unreal at times, gave the pleasure of listening to the bells again, not covered by the traffic noise any more.
Rome and bells is a binomial that has been existing for centuries.
“With tolls and tolls the bell rings” in the prisoners’ song marking time passing uselessly.
Or the uncontainable joy of the win in “tell me who makes me feel a king when I hear the bells on Sunday mornings” in the song “Grazie Roma”.
The bells in the background of the last act of Tosca (symbolizing a spiritual power that could be temporal, thus deciding of life and death).
Bells interpreting the mystery of the love of a woman, like in “Cento Campane” sang by Lando Fiorini “a hundred bells are saying no”.
Rome and its bells have been celebrated with irony by poets Belli and Trilussa (“the Christian soul … doesn’t trust the Bell any more, because she knows who is ringing it”).
Bells as the fruit of man’s work tending towards the sky, a more elevated dimension, both for believers and for atheists.
Time marked by men for men, in harmony with the parable of the sunlight.
We hope the pandemic – even in its tragic horror – will teach us at least to think about man and his natural timing as the centre of the future.