When we started to move on to the Pantheon, we realized that the
passeggiata had started. Soon, the entire Piazza was totally thronged with
strolling people. All ages. We stepped into the Pantheon just as dusk was
setting. We were stunned. The last time we were there, the walls were
all a dingy gray and there was no lighting to speak of. Now, the walls
have been cleaned to reveal beautiful multi-colored marbles, and it is
interior & the great dome with the oculus.
The dome is wider than even that of St. Peters.
The pale blue dusk sky shining through the oculus was like a
beautiful dome light. My guide book says the interior is virtually intact
the way Hadrian built it in AD125. Amazing, because it is virtually
indistinguishable from the great Renaissance works of Bernini and
Borromini, and the great Beaux Arts works like our own San Francisco City Hall.
Pantheon is still defining style today. Timeless. Truly immortal. What a
treasure to be still with us.
the outdoor table in the Piazza della Rotunda: the front of the Pantheon
and strollers pause on the fountain.
We sat in one of the Piazza's cafés for cocktails to watch the
passeggiata in almost the exact front table that we occupied on our first
visit to Rome in 1986. Next to us was a young couple from the Peninsular
on the first day of their first visit to Italy. A kind of déjà vu. They
were so entranced. It wasn't excitement - it was wonder. I remembered in
their faces the wonder of our first visit. Amazingly, it is still there in
in Piazza della Rotunda