Sampietrini are the tiny cobbles used in historic areas of Rome. They’re particularly common in my favourite area, Trastevere. They’re great because they allow rain to run off and disappear easily, they’re incredibly hard wearing and they adapt to uneven ground easily. Sampietrini means little St Peters, named after the people who maintain St Peter’s.
They have also been the Roman rioter’s weapon of choice. Who would leave a large store of half-brick equivalents easily available when there’s civil disturbance possible?
I’m exploring this morning with only a small film camera, an Olympus Trip 35, and yes, before you ask, that’s the one advertised by David Bailey. I have an experimental film, a Revolog Kolor, which is already pre-exposed with rainbow colours. That seems to be quite a good choice given the monochrome morning after heavy rain.
The drain cover has the familiar letters SPQR on it, which stands for Senātus Populusque Rōmānus, the Senate and the People of Rome.
Further along there are puddles where the uneven ground makes neat traps for your suspension.
It also appears that there have been other English visitors here who have joined in with some of the local art forms.
I’m not one of them.