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Europe Up Close

On the Rock of St. Peter in Rome

June 3, 2011

When I clambered onto the full flight from Paris to Rome, the last thing I wanted to do was talk to a fellow passenger. I closed my eyes, exhausted after twenty hours of travel. Lunch arrived and my seatmate, a mild-mannered gent, said, “I always chat during the meal?I'm Peter.' My heart sank, but I gathered my remnants of energy and replied, “I'm Julie from Vancouver.'

I was soon enjoying my fellow traveler. Peter was a New Yorker who had lived in Rome for the last twenty years. He quickly told me about the best sights and cheapest trattorias near my hotel. Then I asked him what he did in Rome. “I work in the Vatican Library with ancient Bibles,' he said quiet

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