Rapallo is a small town on the Riviera di Levante, seventeen miles from Genoa; it faces a bay which also contains Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino. Behind Rapallo the land rises steeply to hills and mountains covered with vines, olives and woods, and from the hill-paths the view below, of cypress, red-tiled roofs and the sea, is classically mediterranean. For a time the Pounds lived in hotels but soon found a small flat five floors up on the roof of the Albergo Rapallo on the sea-front j their entrance was in the Via Marsala and their address Via Marsala 12. There was a lift to their flat but a few days after they moved in it stopped working and remained permanently out of order; to get to their flat thereafter they had to climb more than a hundred steps. From their rooftop terrace they looked south, over the sea. On 25 March each year, Mrs Pound told me, the swallows would fly directly overhead, on their way to two nearby streams where they rested before flying north again.