We were in Rome for the weekend, a city as beautiful as Paris but without the air of pristine-boulevard smugness. The Eternal City is a bit grimy, and all the better for it. It’s a city for living in – care of the fabric of the place comes second to the serious business of being Italian. And Romans love being Italian. That bit of graffiti removal can wait until after dinner.
In St Peter’s square I spotted this stylish gent with a Rolleiflex TLR. I assumed he was a visitor, but then I noticed there were four elderly men equipped with these vintage cameras – they were commercial photographers taking pictures of tourists on film for 6 euros a throw. This guy was very proud of his Rollei – “Made in Germany!” – and seemed a bit baffled by my DSLR – it’s just conceivable that the so-called digital revolution has completely passed him by. I hope so. Film use today often has a post-modern element to it, so It’s good to know that there are four old blokes in Italy who still make an irony-free living shooting tourists on antique cameras.