Tuscan Colonnades | Saint Peter's Square | Vatican City
Piazza San Pietro (Saint Peter's Square) is enclosed by the Tuscan Colonnades, massive columns four deep. During the mid-17th century, Gian Lorenzo Bernini designed Piazza San Pietro under the patronage of Pope Alexander VII. The Colonnades define the boundaries of the square and make a fine shelter for the weary and sun bleached pilgrim.
My visit to the piazza was more of a circus than than a gathering of devout, with dozens of marching bands, hordes of tourists and marauding gypsies. I entertained a fantasy of shooting beautiful sweeping panoramas of the piazza, but found the piazza wasn't photogenic due to barricades and crowds. Not all was lost as there were abundant details to photograph.
Unlike the tourist infested fountains and monuments, images of the Colonnades benefit from the presense of people. How? People impart a sense of scale, hence the strolling pilgrims image above. Without people, it isn't clear if the Colonnades are 5 inches or 50 feet tall.
I vaguely recall a Papal State once existed (756-1870), encompassing most of central Italy. But Italy was unified into a modern state and that was that. So I was surprised to learn Vatican City is a city-state, existing as such since 1929. Thus, Vatican City continues the spiritual mission of the Papal State, freed from much of the political and governmental activities of earlier rule.
EOS 40D and EF-s 17-55 2.8 IS USM
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