It was late in the afternoon. The crowds thronged the Piazza del Duomo taking photographs of the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The Carabinari hovered over any photographer who attempted to set up a Tripod advising “Nessun Permesso, No Permit.” Storm clouds gathered just as I was about to leave. The heavens opened in a downpour and the Piazza emptied as people ran into sidestreets looking for shelter. I stood under a canopy as the Thunder roared. Within minutes I was all alone.

From my sheltered location I set up my camera on its tripod. The Lightning flashed over the Dome of the Cathedral. I anticipated a second strike and fired of a sequence of shots. The action was short and furious but I got the picture.

The rain stopped and I saw a break in the clouds. I changed location to capture the Cathedral and its reflections on the rain drenched streets. For a brief few seconds the rays of the sun shown through a gap in the clouds. The setting sun transformed the bleak and dismal scene with its golden hues. Another quick sequence of shots and the light was gone.

Crowds started to re enter the Square. The Carabinari emerged from their shelter and hovered once more over anybody attempting to set up a tripod. I smiled contently to myself as I left the dreary rain soaked scene.

All were oblivious to the brief but magnificent display that Mother Nature had just provided for an audience of one.

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