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POPE EYES GARDEN WALKS

Thursday - 2/28/2013, 7:30am  ET

In this image taken from video as Pope Benedict XVI enters to deliver his final greetings to the assembly of cardinals at the Vatican Thursday Feb. 28, 2013, before he retires in just a few hours. Benedict urged the cardinals to work in unity and promised his "unconditional reverence and obedience" to his successor in his final words to his cardinals Thursday in a poignant and powerful farewell before he becomes the first pope in 600 years to resign. (AP Photo/Vatican TV)

The Associated Press

Everyone looks forward to retirement for one reason or another. In Pope Benedict XVI's case, it might be having more time for walks.

Benedict took daily strolls through Vatican City's gardens. Now, awaiting his first months in retirement at Castel Gandolfo is a splendid expanse of manicured lawn, dotted by geometrically-shaped bushes for his afternoon walks.

The Holy See got a good deal on the castle and its grounds. It was acquired in the late 1500s in return for an unpaid debt owed by Italian nobles. But the estate didn't always appear so beautiful. For years, it was almost abandoned after the fall of the Papal State in 1870, as modern Italy took shape.

-- Frances D'Emilio -- Twitter http://twitter.com/fdemilio

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"Pope Live" follows the events of the final day of Pope Benedict XVI's papacy as seen by journalists from The Associated Press around the world. It will be updated throughout the day with breaking news and other items of interest. Follow AP reporters on Twitter where available.


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