Our third day began as the previous had ended – grey and rainy, but with the prospect of better weather in the afternoon. We set out to explore some, for us, unexplored streets around the Spanish steps, including Via Margutta popularised by Fellini in Roman Holiday. The combination of early(ish) morning and rain meant we were able to explore with the only interruptions being those of the ever-ready umbrella sellers.
We stopped off at the Piazza del Popolo, where the church of Santa Maria del Popolo is unassumingly tucked into a corner beside the Flaminian gate. The Church has a strange claim to fame – built apparently to exorcise the ghost of the Emperor Nero, who had been buried nearby!
Raphael’s Chigi Chapel (the first of Robert Langdon’s destinations in Angels & Demons) isn’t even the most impressive part of the church….
.. .there are quieter chapels and nooks worth a second look, including one associated with the Borgia family..