• There's a Papal Funeral in Town: Four kings, five queens, at least 70 presidents and prime ministers, and more than 14 leaders of other religions have gathered in Rome for the papal funeral Friday. Oh yes, and about 2 million others. The result is a security cordon that has left correspondent Sophie Arie with little choice but to walk to her office. And she's been told that she must arrive before 4 a.m. Friday if she hopes to reach the building.
"When I switched on my mobile phone this morning, I got a text message from the Rome Civil Protection police telling me St. Peter's Square will be full and traffic is banned Friday from the whole of Rome, from its ring road inward," says Sophie. But she doesn't mind the walk, she says, because the landscape is now dotted with "exotic tourists." "We spotted a man last night outside the office wearing lederhosen and sporting a bushy beard. It's a nice change from the suited, sunglass- wearing Italian politicians who tend to hang around that part of town."
The funeral gathering also means that Sophie will not be getting her Italian newspapers delivered to her doorstep. "I opened my door and picked up the newspapers only to find a notice tucked inside warning me that tomorrow the paper's won't arrive because the delivery boy won't be able to drive in the city."
David Clark Scott