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I visited the ruins of Pompeii on a grey and rainy day, where if I could avoid the few determined tour groups beneath bright bobbing umbrellas, I could wander by myself in silence, except for the sound of rain on my umbrella. Most of the buildings are empty and roofless, but some of the graceful houses are still intact, around green courtyards open to the rain. The frescoes were the most striking to me – old, old colors still bright and alive after so many years.

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