Buon giorno! (or rather, Buona sera!)
As we begin our day tonight, the first stop on the agenda is St. Peter's in Vatican City. The enormous square of St. Peter's was constructed in such a way to allow as many people to gather, and to be blessed by the Pope, at one time as possible. Throughout the day these grounds are packed column to column... but tonight we only have to share the space with a few stragglers and a number of Roman pigeons.
Though the sun has not set, its light is partially blocked by the dome of the Basilica. The remaining light is remarkably soft, giving this holy place a heavenly glow. In the absence of the crowds we do not have to fight for an opportunity to stand at the white medallion at the center of the ellipse shaped piazza. From this spot we can appreciate the splendor of Roman architecture once again, as the Doric columns seem to disappear one behind another. This illusion, created by Bernini, is surprisingly fun to experience for yourself!
We've left ourselves just enough time to grab a drink on-the-go from a street vendor and get to our last Roman sunset destination. Great news is: there's a stunning view of the sun retiring any evening from the bridges surrounding St. Angelo's bridge. Bad news is: Quite a few people know this little secret.
Thanks to a bit of luck and a touch of ingenuity we have found a way around the scramble of people upon the bridge. Running alongside the Tiber River and beneath the bridges is an unkempt jungle of weeds and cement. Though it's not much to look at, it provides a stellar and private view of the sunset. This area, easily accessible though it goes seemingly unnoticed, affords us the chance to dangle our feet just above the quiet water as we watch the sun dip quickly behind a silhouette of St. Peter's.
Update: Since the publishing of this particular blog, I've discovered I've been bitten by a vicious roman spider! I suppose we weren't completely alone at our sunset viewing spot after all. Not to fret though, I'm already on a steady regimen of antibiotics due to the floridian arachnid that got me just days before our wedding!