National Geographic : 1970 Jun
Lovers meet on the Janiculum Hill. Beyond looms St. Peter's, surmounting a city It was a happy, festive occasion, brought to a close with many-throated roars of "Viva il Papa!" after the Holy Father, having re entered the basilica and emerged on the bal cony, delivered his blessing and prayer for world peace. Before I left Rome, I made one last trip to St. Peter's. An elevator took me to a narrow railed ledge high up in the rotunda where I looked down upon the Papal Altar with its 788 massive Bernini-designed baldachin, or can opy, supported by twisted columns of bronze. Descending, I stood for a while before Michel angelo's exquisite "Pieta." Walking away along the broad Via della Conciliazione, I stopped for a long look at the great dome crowning the world's largest church, and marveled again at its beauty, its solid strength and dignity, as both symbol and physical presence.