Actually early two mornings. I don’t think we’ve been in Centro in early morning before but Sunday and Monday past we headed down to Piazza Minerva to meet up with some friends. Of course any city is different in the early hours of the morning but I found there was a certain magic about having Roma almost to ourselves for a little bit.
On Sunday morning the Piazza in front of Santa Maria sopre Minerva was deserted except for a gypsy woman by the door of the church. The next morning I dropped in to light a candle and not even the gypsy was there.
A block away the only things moving in Piazza della Rotonda were a few Swedish tourists gawking at the Pantheon (I still gawk every time I see it,) some locals out for their Sunday morning Cappucc and the carriage drivers tending to their horses. I had never seen the Piazza or the Pantheon without the filter of crowds of people – it is even more gawk-worthy.
And speaking of gawk-worthy, a few minutes later we drove past Santa Marta and were surprised to see these two young gentlemen standing guard. It is particularly unusual to see Swiss Guards outside the Vatican unless the Pope is visiting in Roma and even more strange to see them outside a deconsecrated church. Our friend Larry saw them later in the day and took these photos. He also posted a photo essay on Santa Marta and solved the mystery of the Swiss Guards. They were part of a photo shoot to advertise the forecoming Angels and Demons. Apparently Ewan McGregor was inside!
For some reason (old age?) I can never recall where the Trevi Fountain is in the warren of back streets off the Corso. I was surprised Monday morning when I cut behind the Quirinale turned a corner and there it was. But notice very few people, it was only 0800 and most tourists are just having their breakfast. Also not much water, the fountains were reduced to a trickle so they could do the daily collection of the coins traditional thrown in the Fountain. Its estimated that around 3000.00 euros are tossed in each day. Enough to provide food for some of the needy families in the city.
18 febbraio – San Massimo di Ostia