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Re: QUERY: Rome trip



Rome is an epigrapher's paradise. There are hundreds of churches with
extraordinary inscriptions covering millenia. Almost any church is
rewarding, but I recommend Sta. Maria in Popolo for Humanist tombstones,
the Cloister of San Giovanni in Laterano for a large collection of
Classical and Gothic inscriptions, and the Aracoeli for a visit to Matteo
the Scribe (to the right of the main entrance).

If memory serves me right the fine bookbinders cluster around the Via dei
Grecchi (sp?), by the Via del Babuino. Usually the shop doors are open to
the street. Prepare to be humbled, because Italian craftsmen (I haven't
met any women in that area)  tend to see a skill where we see "Aht." It's
a refreshing lack of sentimentality. There are also numerous craft shops
around the Via Benvenuto Cennini, though mostly carpentry, as I recall.

Finally - don't make careful plans. The best-known churches in Italy are
Santa Maria Sempre Chiusa (Holy Mother of Perpetual Closing) and San
Giovanni in Restauro (Saint John the Major Renovation). It's the journey
that counts, not the destination. Wish it were mine.

***************************************************************************
Paul Werner, New York City

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