Rome celebrates its Sts Peter and Paul
Although traditionally a public holiday in Rome, with public offices, schools and many shops closed, this year the feast day of St Peter and Paul falls on a Sunday so won't make much difference to daily life in the capital.
There are liturgical celebrations scheduled in many of the city’s churches including St Peter’s Basilica, where at 09.30 Pope Francis will confer the papal pallium, or white woollen stole, upon 44 metropolitan archbishops to symbolise the union between the successor of St Peter and the leaders of local churches. A further two archbishops will receive the pallium in their home provinces. However, in keeping with the more humble style of Pope Francis, this year the rite has been simplified and reduced and now takes place before the Eucharistic celebration.
Also at St Peter's, in front of the square, is the historic infiorata floral display which goes on show that day. The multicoloured flower carpet will feature half a million flowers, two tons of salt and 100 bags of coloured sawdust to create a series of 50 images. The ancient tradition dates back to 1625 but was abandoned for around 400 years before being restored in 2011.
Later that evening the annual Girandola fireworks display, introduced in 1481, lights up the sky above Castel S. Angelo at 21.00.
The idea of Michelangelo, perfected later by Bernini, the ancient spectacle has inspired writers and artists such as Dickens, Belli and Piranesi.
The best places to view the show, which features a giant spinning Catherine Wheel, include Via Banco Spirito, Lungotevere Tor di Nona, Lungotevere Altoviti, and from the bridges of Vittorio Emanuele II, Principe Amedeo Savoia Aosta and Umberto I.