The large writing-desk in the corner of our living-room was a source of irresistible fascination for Francesco. He stared at it every morning, seated on the sofa at the other side of the room until, unable to wait another minute, he would go over and sit in front of it. This writing-desk spoke to him, reminded him of his adolescence, but above all of his moments of activity and creativity. He had designed new houses here, planned our garden in Gallicano, even written his first poems when just a boy. He had tried to write poems at the beginning of his illness, as though his mind had taken a sudden leap back into the past. He wrote about Rome, for instance, although he harboured a love/hate relationship with our capital city. He said that Rome, which he had once loved, where he had lived in tiny penthouses with terraces always bigger than the living area, had disappointed him, betrayed him: it had become the megalopolis that it is today with its devastating effects on human relationships.
Now, however, in his new state, it seemed that Rome had once again acquired its former fascination. In one of his recent poems he had written: 'Rome is our destiny. Life all around it is splendid, so that it will strive to…?' But the words ended there.
Francesco had dedicated many efforts to Rome in the past. In the renovation work on houses the windows were always designed to frame a special view: a picturesque old