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My Mom and husband, who couldn’t sleep after 23 hours of travel, started walking the streets near our B&B. They found their way to a nearby park and turned a corner to be surprised by the dominating face of the Colosseum. They took us back later, when the rest of us had woken up, to have dinner in the district with rainbow flags. Within view of the 2000 year-old monument Mom toasted her father –who had come back to Italy forty years earlier to trace his own roots back to Giulianova.

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Roma, Day 2: At Sole e Luna we were served breakfast each morning in bed. I don’t know if there is anything better than being served Italian coffee on a platter first thing in the morning in Rome. The hotel courtyard below was full of potted plants, big ones, with new red blooms in the corners, and on window-sills. Rome was gearing up for the canonization of Pope John Paul II, or Ioannes Paulus II as they called him here, and Pope John XXIII, which would happen the weekend after we left the city.

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