Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Early on their second morning in Rome my daughter and son-in-law took their child to visit the church of St. Peter. We walked from Piazza di Spagna directly down to the Tiber and made our way across.
This broad and clear approach to St. Peter's did not exist before the 1930s. The Popes had never overcome the legal and financial obstacles posed by the many owners of ancient buildings that blocked the vista. Mussolini, by contrast, had no problems with the property owners at all.
My daughter somehow found space in the luggage to bring her Polaroid along to Rome. Consequently she could use her favorite camera to capture her favorite baby against every spectacular background that came along.
Before entering the church we took a break to give Mabel a snack and a change. We sat at the base of the marble colonnade and watched the moribund fountain in front of us suddenly spring into life.
Few other tourists at this hour (another advantage of traveling with a baby who gets the day moving early).
Inside the building, the high-perched baroque statue of a twisting and turning St Veronica waved her gigantic miraculous Veil like a banner in a wind storm.