domingo, abril 24, 2005

Our day in Rome, during the Pope's funeral

As we mentioned in a previous post, we were caught in the Pope's funeral during our short visit to Rome. Here we leave our memories of that day.

In that day all Rome's monuments were closed, our curiosity took us to the vicinity of Saint Peter's square to take some photos of the funeral. As we said in our previous post, we saw many people, many national flags (most of them from Poland), but we didn't see much grief and self reflexion, that one might expect from a funeral.

We saw many people, but we can't get the numbers of the event right. Saint Peter square and Via della Conciliazione (the road that connects Saint Peter to the river) can take at most 500.000 people. Other squares in Rome, whiche were equipped with giant-screens to allow pilgrims who could not reach Saint Peter to follow the funeral, were not so full maybe even 50.000 people (look at picture of Piazza del Popolo on "la Repubblica"). So, where were the 1-3 million pilgrims that the media, vatican, italian authorities cried about? The day before the funeral, there were not so many people at Rome's railway central station (Termini) and underground from there to Vatican — which was supposed to be flooded by pilgrims.

San Peter's Square during the funeral of the Pope.

The following photo is of a famous Roman character. Pasquino was an anti-clerical poet of the 19th century. He was a critic of the power of the catholic church in Rome, and wrote satirical poems targeting the church. Pasquino is still an inspiration for contemporary Roman popular poets (mostly anti-clericals) who afixate their writtings in the base of the statue for people to read. The following picture shows people readind anti-clerical messages afixated in the statue during the funeral of the Pope.

During the Pope's funeral people read the messages posted on the statue of Pasquino.

After the funeral, we took this nice photo: a small group of polish troops who came for the Pope's funeral.

Polish troops after the funeral.

Late in the afternoon, we went back to Saint Peter's square.

The mess after the funeral.