The Rome Plague Diaries
Available February 2021
On the first morning of Italy's Covid-19 lockdown, Matthew Kneale was sitting in a Rome coffee bar when he felt an overwhelming need to connect with old friends and acquaintances. He began writing an email, describing where he was, what was happening, what it felt like, and sent it to everyone he could think of. This became the first of many daily reports, as he tried to comprehend a time when Italians' lives were suddenly changed and the country struggled against Europe's first coronavirus epidemic - a moment that was strange, profoundly troubling but also fascinating.
Having lived in Rome for eighteen years, Matthew has grown to know the capital and its citizens well, and his insightful and humorous account connects everything he has learned about the city with these extraordinary months, revealing the Romans through the prism of the coronavirus.