It is the best preserved of all ancient Roman buildings and 2000 years later is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome. The bronze roof was removed and melted down to make the huge altarpiece in St Peter's Basilica. The outside was covered in marble panels at one time but they were stripped off and carted away. I think it is amazing that all the groups that came through sacking Rome walked into the Pantheon and basically said "whoa, this is cool" and left it alone. This dome has been the inspiration for domes all over the world and inspired Brunelleschi's Duomo in Florence, which is credited as being a turning point for moving out of the Dark Ages.
My day starts with opening up all the windows in the apartment and ends with closing them up again at night. An unexpected bonus all week was listening to the street musicians perform in the piazza below. There’s a man who sings opera in the afternoon that always draws quite a crowd.
It has been fun to see the Pantheon and the piazza at different times of the day. There’s hardly anyone there very early in the morning. The trash and recycle guys come around early. Took me a minute the first day to figure things out when I woke up to the sound of breaking glass. Turns out it was the emptying of large recycling containers full of wine, water and beer bottles into a truck, then crushed. Happens every morning.
Early on are photographers, then a few tourists, the guys selling stuff and the horse drawn buggies. The restaurants around the square set out their tables and put on fresh tablecloths. It is a very short night for them as it seems there are still people in the restaurants until around 2am. It doesn’t take long for the crowds to show up. The Pantheon and piazza are packed with people all day.
I spent a lot of time this week sitting on the couch in front of the window enjoying the view of the Pantheon, the music and the buzz of the crowds while reading The Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes.