September 17, 2014
crossing the tiber29th entry – italy 2014
We began our trek crossing the Tiber at Ponte Garibaldi. (I’m shooting up-river at one of the ancient bridges. The larger image has St. Peter’s above the tree-line, but the dome got cropped in creating the narrow slice for the post.) The streets were empty of tourists at least until we got to the Pantheon. Rick is great with a map and he got us to the Pantheon using the opposite side of the circle than I would have used. (Using the distance from where we’re staying to the Pantheon as a diameter, he took us right where I know the route going left.)
The Pantheon, similar to the Coliseum, was full of tourist groups, but we were there early enough that the mob wasn’t overwhelming. The Roman structure with its magnificent oculus deserves all the visitors. (The last time I was here was the summer of 1971. I had forgotten that Rafael is buried here, but I hadn’t forgotten the oculus.) The Roman temple has been turned into a Catholic church and on the Feast of Pentecost, workmen drop thousands of rose-petals through the oculus during mass. The marble floor is covered in rose-petals.
From there we wound our way back to Piazza Navona another of my favorite places. The last time I was here it was mid-August and the place was wall-to-wall tourist. Traveling is September has been great. The weather has decent and the mobs manageable.