BC: To: Helen A trip of a lifetime. We are so glad we got to do it with you both. We hope you enjoy this keepsake. Happy Birthday! Love always, Michael, Sheila, Garrett and Rebecca | August 21, 2011
FC: Our Trip to Italy | 2004
1: After much turmoil in their own lives as well as our nation's. Helen and Wendell decided to come visit us in Italy and meet their new grandaughter.
2: It had been a long time since we had seen Nana and Pawpaw!
3: Garrett was a big brother and he had a new puppy named Jake. He had made gifts for Nana and Pawpaw!
4: Rebecca Lynn and her Nana!
5: She loved them from the start. | This was the first time Rebecca had met her Nana and Pawpaw
6: Every even numbered year, in Marostica, a human chess match is played to comemorate a chess game played between two eligible suitors. They played chess instead of dueling, to decided who would marry a woman that both men fancied. This comemorative game is special because it is played on a life-size chess board in the town's main square. It's called "la Partita a Scacchi con Personaggi Viventi," - instead of chess pieces, it's played with human beings and horses in period dress on a gigantic board. The chess board is pictured on the top left side of this page. There is an upper and lower castle in Marostica. The upper castle and it's walls completely encircle the town. The lower castle is pictured above and is used as a town hall. The upper castle is pictured in the lower right. | Citta' di Marostica
7: Top left: Michael, Rebecca, Sheila, Nana and Garrett in front of the Upper Castle. Top right: Pawpaw and Garrett had to check out the Maserati. Bottom: Another building located in the town square.
8: The pink marble arena was built in the 1st Century A.D. It even survived an earthquake in the 12th century. It was an open air opera house with seating for 30,000 people. It is gorgeous from the outside but when you climb to the top you have a better appreciation for its size. Plus the view is fantastic. | Left: Outside the Arena; Middle: Wendell giving a thumbs up! Right: View from the top;
9: Vacation of a Lifetime! | Roman Arena Verona, Italy
10: We explored the arena inside and out. It is the most intact Roman arena. The view from the top is breathtaking it is pictured in the lower right. Sheila and Garrett stop to pose for Pawpaw on the top right.
11: Casa di Giuletta as the story goes is the " home of Shakespeare's Juliet". The balcony pictured below is where Juliet would have stood and been courted by Romeo. Legend says to rub the right breast of Juliet for better luck next time in love. Graffiti and love notes are written all along the walls of the house. | Casa di Giuletta or Juliet | Left: Juliet's balcony Middle: Helen trying to warm up! Right: Venitian Mask
12: Piazza dei Signori Below: Garrett, Michael and Becca in front of a statue of Dante. Left top and Middle: a Venetian Lion, a symbol of the Vento region. Left bottom: Lamberti Clock tower located inside the Piazza
13: Verona, Italia
14: While we wandered around the city of Verona, we found plexiglass coverings and stairwells going underneath the city. We went down below the city street to find areas that have been excavated. Ancient Roman streets and homes can be seen underneath the city. | Ancient Roman Ruins
15: Amongst the ancient ruins were fresco paintings, areas where there would have been kitchens with water and paved streets. We had to use our imaginations but archaeologists don't.
16: We shopped in some of the little outdoor market areas inside the Piazza. The stairs are leading up to the bell tower pictured above. | Piazza delle Erbe
17: Pawpaw and Nana bought Garrett a wooden top at a little open market area in the piazza. As we left the Piazza delle Erbe, we were getting pretty hungry. Unfortunatly we had to wait til reposo was over before we got to eat. Reposo is from 2-4 pm the Italian's close all the stores and go home for lunch.
18: We stopped at a trattoria for a snack and something to warm us up. We had some hot coffee and hot chocolate. Italian hot chocolate is really creamy and fantastic. Italian coffee is wonderful too! | Pictured above: Even in the little trattoria there were old frescos. Pictured right: Michael, Helen and Garrett enjoying hot drinks and a little snack. | Italian Trattoria
19: Wendell & Helen | There were so many sights to see in Verona. Hopefully we will come back someday and see more of this historic town
20: Porta Castello Tower
21: Vicenza, Italy Rebecca and her Nana & Pawpaw | Piazza Castello is dominated by the Porta Castello Tower it is Vicenza's oldest and mightiest tower. It kept watch over the city threw the Middle Ages.
22: The Basillica was 1st build in the early 15th century and it served as a town hall and contained many shops. When the old building collapsed, Andrea Palladio was commissioned to build a new building. Palladio tranformed the gothic facade with marble columns and porticos modeled after the classical architecture of Rome. The project was so enormous that is wasn't finished until 30 years after his death. The Basillica can be seen from all around Vicenza. It is one of many building that Palladio constructed. | The Basillica in the Piazza dei Signori
23: Two rivers wind thru Vicenza the Bacchiglione and the Ponte Degli Angeli. Both rivers head towards Venice and then go out to sea. The canal pictured is near where we attended church downtown. | The Teatro Olimpico also made by Palladio and is modeled after famous Roman theators. It was right across the street from our church.
24: Left: Walking back to the car from church on a Sunday morning. The road is a narrow one way street. There is parking only on one side. Cars speed down the street. It can be a bit scary. | Right bottom: There are areas all over Italian cities like this picture. They have potted plants marking off an area for a little cafe' or out door restaurant.
25: The van we rented to drive around the Italian countryside. | Teatro Olimpico | Teatro Olimpico was designed by Palladio and constructed around 1580. It is the oldest surviving indoor Renaissance Theater. It was right across the street from our Church.
26: Bassano Del Grappa is a beautiful city. It is located on the Ponte del Alpini. It is a medieval city dating back to 998 AD. | Bassano Del Grappa
27: The bridge pictured is a very important piece of history. It has been destroyed many times, the last time during WWII. It was so important to Alpine Soldiers that they rebuilt it with their own money. | Below is a picture of a famous distillery. They make Grappa. It can only be found in Bassano.
28: Scenes from the Italian Countryside | We spent much of our time in Bassano del Grappa walking around. It is a beautiful city. The river was beautiful but it was a cold day.
29: Garrett and Nana found some geese but we didn't have anything to feed them. | The river is pictured in the forefront but through the trees you can make out the Bassano Castle.
30: We are getting onto the water taxi and going to Venice! | At first it was so foggy you couldn't see the island, St Mark's Bassillica or even another boat. | Headed to Venezia!
31: When we got off the first thing we did was get turned around. There were lots of little side streets like this. We finally figured out which way to go and we were off on an adventure. This is one of the most surreal places in the world; it's a city built on a marshy area with canals running threw it.
32: The most famous bridge in Venezia.. | Rialtto Bridge
33: The saltwater lagoon stretches across the mouths of the Po and Piave Rivers. The Republic of Venice was a maritime power in the Middle Ages, Renaissance and the Crusades. It is known for several artistic movements during the Renaissance Period.
34: We HAD to take a Gondola ride while we were in Venice. We went threw the Grand Canal and out into some of the Lagoons. This is the way to see Venice and the Venitians know it. It isn't a cheap ride but it was well worth every Euro.
35: The Grand Canal
36: Pictured: Wooden Motorcycle, Lace, "David" underwear and Murano glass | An Italian bathroom can be an interesting place, especially to Americans. It takes a while to get used to them. | Murano Glass is only made on the island of Murano. The process of making the glass is rather complex. The glass is made from silica that becomes liquid at high temperatures. As the glass passes from solid to liquid there is an interval state where the glass isn't hard but isn't too soft. This is when the glass master can shape the glass.
37: Shopping in Venezia | Fiore Shop or Flower Shop | Pictured above: A whole pig head for sale. | Pictured below: An array of Italian formaggio or cheeses | This is just some of the pictures that Wendell took of food, textiles, jewelry, Murano glass, and other interesting things he saw in Italy. Most of these were found in Venice at in a street market.
38: We did lots of looking, shopping and walking in Venezia.
39: The Grand Canal, Venezia Italia
40: Garrett and Sheila at St. Mark's Square or the Piazza San Marco
41: The Basilica in San Marco is incredible. The entire facade of it has so many ornate details. The horses over the front represent the pride and power of Venezia. The entire facade is covered in marble carvings, colunms and fescos. | This is the Lion of St. Mark. different from the Venetian Lion. | Nana and Sheila had to get our picture taken with Marco Polo.
42: Taking the Water Taxi back to Vicenza | Top Left: Rebecca had enough of being held. So we just let her lay in the floor of the boat. Top Right: Clock Tower in St. Mark's Square. Bottom Right: Helen and Sheila getting onto the water taxi. It was a long fun day.
43: Top: The town of Venezia at night fall on a cool night! Bottom: Garrett looks like he was ready to go.