ROME, LAZIO, ITALY – How can one ever pick a favorite church in Rome? I’m sure I will never be able to. I am drawn to San Giovanni mostly for the facade, striking as it looms over the extensive stone path leading up to it, the crowning statues visible over the rooftops from many vistas in Rome. It is one of the cathedrals I always make time to visit when I am in the city – one of many peaceful retreats.
On this day, I pulled out my camera and walked from my apartment at Campo de Fiori through the Jewish Ghetto, to the Circus Maximus, down past the Baths of Caracalla, and then turned towards San Giovanni. It was raining, and I would duck under porticos or stop into open cathedrals to wait out the heaviest downpours along the way. When finally I arrived, I ventured in and found a seat to rest upon in a small chapel to the right of the altar. It is a favorite of mine: red in the chapel, and fairly dark – the only light from a collection of low candles. I pulled out my notebook and my mini English-Italian dictionary (always in my bag) and began writing, noting in my entry that I was waiting for il tramonto, the sunset, before heading back out for pictures. When the time came, I wandered out through the tall doors and pushed past the many immigrants trying to sell umbrellas to unlucky tourists caught in the storm without one. I had no umbrella, but didn’t mind the rain. I stood in it for nearly half an hour, snapping shots as the sun fell and the sky turned from blue-grey to deep blue to black.
This capture was one among those, and I love it for the ominous dark clouds, the single break of light on the right, the warm lighting in the arches, the colors.