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Journal of a Seaplane Cruise Around The World
Part Two: Europe

Friday, October 12

Rome is delightful and I have a new appreciation of both the city and the people. We arrived entirely unannounced and only once had been bothered by reporters; a rather nice chap from AP (A.E. Stuntz) who has just given us a long account of the assassination of King Alexandria of Yugoslavia, which has occurred in Marseille. It was done by a fanatic, of course, and luckily the assassin was a Croat, but if by chance it had been an Italian, Stuntz thinks there would surely have been war. Bob has taken in the sights and we both had a turn at the ship; it is a 20 mile drive to Ostia. A new compass was purchased, and after being "swung" was given a test flight.

The second of my letters of introduction brought the privilege of visiting the private clinic of Professor Rastianelli, who operated this morning to remove a renal calculus by transperitoneal route. It was done with extreme dispatch, and was a good lesson in correct surgery. Afterward we looked in on one of his post-operative brain tumor patients, a man of 35 with a large sub-cortical calcification extending across the midline.

Tonight we have been to dinner at his home in Via dei Villini. Like his physician brother, Surgeon Raffaele Bastianelli married an American woman, and we were received warmly. Two men from Balbo's squadron were present, Major Biseo and Captain Gallo Luigi, both charming quiet fellows. They were much disturbed to learn that here were some trans-Atlantic fliers who had arrived in Rome without any "welcome", but we succeeded in convincing them that the welcome of Professor and Mrs. Bastianelli could not be improved on, and we were secretly humbled in discovering that these two men had flown both the North Atlantic and the South Atlantic in both directions!

To be on the safe side, Bob has arranged through the American Attache' for permission to land in Cyprus, although it is not on the schedule. We are a little appalled at the distance from Rome to Athens and from Athens to Alexandretta, both legs being about 700 miles.

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