The street surrounding St. Peter's Square became an improvised dance floor for tango dancers. This was more than just an ordinary show. It was a gift for the Argentinian Pope on his 78th birthday.
The couples were mostly from Argentina and Italy, but people from all over started joining in. It was an idea that came about when Cristina Camorani, an Italian tango teacher, thought it would be a unique gift everyone could enjoy.
Organizer, 'A Tango for Francis'
"The theme of this milonga is embrace or hug. It's a way to get away from the misconception that tango is only about sensuality and passion. We are focusing on the theme of a hug, so there are brothers, parents, sisters here dancing. Wherever there are hugs, there are no wars.”
More than 2,000 dancers took part. Interestingly word got around through Facebook.
"It was an idea for the Pope's birthday. We wanted something special for the Holy Father.”
"I want to wish our beloved Pope Francis a thousand more years. May peace and prosperity reign upon Italy, Argentina and the entire world.”
"It's a message of peace, passion and one of encounter. People who don't even know each other are dancing together, so you also get to know a different culture. Different schools have different styles. Not to mention the unique elements of every country.”
The Pope was not there during the dance, but he did know it was taking place. In fact he gave these words of encouragement before the improvised show.
"I hope you can put on a good show today and bring in some Argentinian winds.”
It was a special 78th birthday for Pope Francis, which actually marks his second birthday as Pontiff. With tunes like these, it will be a birthday to remember.