In another lifetime (some 30 years ago), I lived in Rome. I was writing my first book then and doing some work for a famous movie producer.
When it came to the summer months, particularly around Ferroagosto, August 15 (the start of vacations for most Romans), the city emptied itself of all the natives. In fact, in my apartment building on Viale de Villa Pamphili, above Trastevere (an all-Italian neighborhood as no one there spoke much English), I was the only one left in the building and wouldn't dare use the tiny two-person elevator for fear it might get stuck. Of course, trooping six flights down to the street wouldn't solve anything as there was no one around and all the stores were closed. And, there was no one to call either on the phone.
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