Mike at Villa D'Este: This villa, with its famous garden packed full of fountains, is located in the town of Tivoli, about 20 miles northeast of Rome. It was the private garden of Cardinal D'Este, a member of the ruthless Borgia family, back in the 16th Century.

The bus to Tivoli was very crowded, perhaps because of all the pilgrims in town for Pope John Paul II's funeral the next day. One old Italian man was yelling at a young British woman. The next day, partly because of this stressful bus ride and other crowded bus rides, we decided to watch the funeral from our room rather than venturing out to a public piazza to watch it on a giant video screen with the crowds.

It was coincidence that we were in Rome the week of the funeral, anyway. We had come to visit some friends Frances met during her brief career teaching English as a second language.

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