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The eternal city . . . except that it really is not, but for now Rome is nothing short of fascinating. Our hotel, the Lunetta, is my favorite one of the entire trip. Small, (only 30 rooms) a four-star, it is elegant. The joyous thing about this gracious place is that when I open the front door and step my feet onto the ancient cobblestone street, my eyes and ears are jammed with authentic Italian life. We’re in the middle of it all, and they’re wonderful people: loud, passionate, friendly, and beautiful. So loud and happy that Saturday and Sunday night (and into the wee hours of the next day) they partied beneath our 3rd story window. Once in the black night I flung wide our big window–which has no screen–and looked below. The streets were full of revelers. They were joyous; Jerry not so much!

Michelangelo’s THE DAVID! Enormous–much larger than I imagined. Unspeakably beautiful. For some reason, these pieces of art make me weep. Such incredible talent. The Sistine. No words.

Rushing now. To Istanbul today. Will spend many days writing and posting picture when I’m home. Arriving in Los Angeles tomorrow evening.

One of the chapels in the Vatican complex we visited yesterday. It so happened that the pope made a live address, which we watched a portion of on a screen, the timing and crowd of 50,000 making it impossible for us to see him personally, although we were standing right there. Biggest crowd I have ever seen.

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