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Los Angeles Times

Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II and Italy

Castel del Monte has more vibes than "The Da Vinci Code." I didn't know why I had to see it, except I love a good mystery. And it is surely one, a model for the labyrinthine library in Umberto Eco's 1983 medieval whodunit, "The Name of the Rose." I stood in the castle's deserted courtyard at dusk, nerves taut, heart thumping, ears pitched, wishing the walls could talk. But Castel del Monte, as silent as a sarcophagus and as strange as a UFO, keeps its secrets, glowing like the crown of its 13th century builder, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. -- Susan Spano Read more: In Italy, a riddle wrapped in stone Pictured: Castel del Monte in Italy's boot.
Susan Spano
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