It was a sad, sad day when we said goodbye to Elio, although the sun shone over Roma, zapping the stained glass of the cathedral with rainbow colours at all angles. A bit like Elio himself: one minute the elegant musician, the next the fluid racing driver.
An ever-changing artist.
The organ and the choir filled the morning; we sat in black, sobbing quietly but trying not to show it. At the end, after the blessing, a flock of doves burst from the high roof, peeling down towards the door. It was a message that somehow, like them, we needed to fly again.
I remember going straight afterwards to the Foro Italico to spend the rest of the day at the Italian Open tennis. Elio, I thought, would have approved.
Today, remembering Elio, I again watched some of the Italian Open.
And there it was, on the ball-boy’s polo as he gave a towel to Rafa. Auztralian. Elio’s Auztralian.
It was his way of saying hi.