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Sunday 30 August 1998

Yes, on my way to Rimini finally — right now it's about 1:05 P.M. and I'm sitting in front of Spello train hut (station is too much since it no longer has a ticket window, and besides is still inagibile from last year) waiting for a 1:20 to Foligno, and thence by two quick connections I hope to Falconara Marittima and Rimini.

4:00 exactly, pulling out of Falconara, not the train I'm supposed to be on, but hey it was there: we were slightly late, and here's this train — a 2‑minute change, how lucky can you get. Gorgeous day. Train full of university students, today being the peak of the contro-esodo.

Spent most of the time on the Flaminia train (as I think of it) writing an intro to Roman roads, the first of the many short essays I plan on using gaps of spare time and low-key Spellano evenings to write — but also checking the landscape, esp. early on, against last year's quake damage. Much damage still: the pace of reconstruction has been slow, infuriating many. Bureaucracy apparently.

The latter part of the leg into Falconara, chatting with a young Australian grad student or possibly post-doc in astrophysics on his way to Princeton via the Grand Tour in Europe, just finishing it: six weeks mostly Paris, Geneva and 2½ weeks of Italy. Both of us nursing sore throats (mine was particularly bad this morning, also a nosebleed; now better). Malcolm (? didn't quite catch his first name) Kennett at http://www.physics.usyd.edu.au/~kennett.º

Nothing quite like following the progress of the train on a map of Roman roads, the only map I have with me; coming down from ad Aesim, we've just stopped 30 seconds in Sena Gallica. . . .

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