I wandered over to the Vatican late morning (the Academy is just a 15 minute walk away). All was quiet on streets and on the Janiculum (the hill we live on). Perhaps the predictions had been exaggerated. And then as I made my way down the hill I heard Gregorian chants coming from huge speakers before hitting a wall of people. I could go no further than the Tiber and the bridges. Every square inch in and the around the Vatican was packed. Most of the thousands I saw couldn't even see a screen. They were standing or sitting around listening to the event on their smartphones. Many who had camped out all night were in fact sleeping through the big event -- the moment when Pope Francis actually declares that these men are saints.
I made my way through the historic center and into Piazza Navona, which was also packed with people craning for a view of the large screen set up at one end. I couldn't push my way past praying, kneeling believers to get even a glimpse. Last night and throughout today, churches were open and bells were ringing to the mark the event.
One benefit is that I made it into one of the architectural jewels of the city, Sant Ivo, the church in the original building complex of La Sapienza university.