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Roman Quarantine, Remembered in Watercolor

Phase Two of Italy’s lockdown has been underway for only about a week as of this writing. So to say that there is nostalgia for the quarantine is a stretch.

And yet there is already a desire to look back at what has transpired over the last few months while the world stopped. An entire season passed by as Italians sheltered in their homes trying to find comfort in the everyday. Honing a skill or adopting a hobby became a means of survival, a way to pass the hours of grief and uncertainty.

Elisa Colarossi, who goes by the handle @romangalgoesaround, has been one of the uplifting Instagram accounts I have followed during the quarantena. For two months, between 18 March and 18 May, Elisa chronicled her time in lockdown with bright watercolor images of her home and the scenes outside her window. She has now compiled those illustrations into a small art book called The Roman Quarantine.

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I’m quite emotional today since this will be the final picture of this intense and life changing project of mine, “The Roman Quarantine”, as from today places will cautiously reopen and life will try to go on in our city (respecting all the measures, of course). Sixty drawings that will always be a part of my heart and very soon will be available in my book of “The Roman Quarantine” (which is almost ready!), for you all to enjoy. ? I want to thank you all for the love you showed and stay tuned because new Roman drawings will start from tomorrow ? Share your thoughts about this project with me, if you like, and I hope to have brought some positivity in your life and I will continue bringing Roman colourful scenes for your eyes daily ?? The journey has just begun! ?

A post shared by Elisa Colarossi (@romangalgoesaround) on

Elisa’s artwork is simple, heartfelt, and intimate. They show moka pots and Roman rooftops; laundry hanging from balconies and stovetops simmering with sugo; and the ochre, pink, and yellow hues of Rome’s cityscape.

Many of Elisa’s quarantine images feature her black cat Stanis. So her new project, as she ventures beyond her front door and out onto the streets of Rome, has Stanis sitting or sunbathing in front of the Colosseum or in the alleys around Trastevere. “Journal of a Cat in Rome” is just getting started. But you can already buy prints of these adorable illustrations, as well as single prints from The Roman Quarantine.

Follow @romangalgoesaround on Instagram to bless your feed with Elisa’s lovely watercolor visions of Rome.

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About Author

Melanie Renzulli has been writing about travel to Italy for more than 20 years.

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