John Paul II Enjoys Outing in Gran Sasso

VATICAN CITY, JULY 24, 2003 ( John Paul II left the pontifical summer residence of Castel Gandolfo today, where he is spending his holidays, for an outing in the Gran Sasso (Italian for “Big Rock”), a mountainous region of the Abruzzi, Vatican Radio reported.

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The Holy Father is familiar with these mountains, which rise to 9560 feet and are situated some 62 miles from Rome. This is his seventh visit to this Italian region.

Contact with the mountains has given the Pope some relief from the intense heat that Italy has endured over the past few weeks.

John Paul II, who began his vacation on July 10, had already been on an outing in the area surrounding Castel Gandolfo, where he is spending his time resting, reading, and finishing a book on his experience as bishop.

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