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Page 144

(This is the view from the top of the Leaning Tower, which we climbed in 2004, showing the Campo dei Miracoli, or Field of Miracles. The baptistry is the circular building in the background. The cathedral, or Duomo, is in the foreground.)

Page 159 & 160
We came to a halt at some nondescript point along the side of the cathedral and gathered around Giovanna, who stood next to the building with her hand on the facade. "I give you all a chance to see, but what I show you is duh liyttle holes in the stone here..." Giovanna ran her finger down the cathedral wall. "If you try to count duh liyttle holes, you won't be able to, because duh number never comes out duh same way twice. It's because of duh day-vil... Duh day-vil plays with duh liyttle holes... He changes duh number and moves dem around. You can try to count, but duh day-vil, he won't let you."

"What's a day-vil?" asked Nana.

"Devil," I fired back. "Where's George's tooth?"

(These are the "liyttle holes" in the cathedral stone, located on the wall closest to the Camposanto. We spent quite a bit of time counting them!)

Page 162

"Duh baptistry was completed in twelve eight-four and is duh largest in all Italy," Giovanna called out, before we started our march across the field. "Duh circular shape was inspired by duh Church of duh Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and dee acoustics are beytter dan some of duh finest houses in Europe."

(In the early church, unbaptized persons were forbidden entry into church buildings, so separate buildings had to be constructed to conduct baptismal rites. The acoustics in this particular baptistry blew me away.)

(Here I am enjoying a meal with my husband in a restaurant in Rome.)

(This is one of my favorite places in Tuscany -- the mountain town of Montepulciano. This is a little open-air café on one of the side streets. I loved the umbrellas! Italy is a feast for the eyes.)