Italy · 15 Days · 39 Moments · September 2014

Rick and Joanne visit Italy

6 October 2014

We made it! Met a relative Minino de Benidito and visited both churches, including the little one Leonardo which Tobia Liberatore (Joanne's grandfather) and his brothers helped build. Salute!
Lunch in Sulmona which is 10 minutes from Pratola (next stop). Joanne ordered the gnocchi special. It was the last order left. Her grandfather loved that dish and called it "the rubber balls" when his wife cooked it for him.
Basilica Volto Santo in Manoppello. The holy relic Veil of Veronica (the holy face) is here. Veronica offered Christ a cloth to dry his face. An image of his face was transferred to it.
Good morning, Abruzzi! At the Castello Chiola Hotel built 1,100 years ago as a castle. Wish we could have stayed here a few days. Today we visit my wife's grandfather's home town which he left in 1920. His name: Tobia Liberatore. The hometown: Pratola Peligna. Family say his family helped build the church (Leonardo) which we think is no longer used.

5 October 2014

Remo's boyhood church San Dominico, priest Josepe, and Remo's school when a boy.
Our tour guide Remo's house (with the green window). His grandfather built it. Remo has seven sisters and one brother.
Tour of olive oil maker

4 October 2014

Ristorante Vita nei Campi in Cavatichi Superoir for lunch -- at least 5 courses, wine, and after meal drinks for only 20 Euros each! Elda (white apron) did all the cooking and Alfredo the only waiter for all 29 of us. Our tour guide Remo (in the red hat) was born and raised in this area of Abruzzi.
Giovanni and his four generations at Chiarieri Winery in Pianella
Market day in the village of Penne
Sunrise at the Hermitage Hotel in Silvi on the Adriatic Sea

3 October 2014

Loreto, basilica of the House of the Holy Family. As the story goes, angels moved the house of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus before the Muslims invaded Nazareth in 13th (?) century.
San Marino -- altitude: 2750 ft. Actually, San Marino is the independent, oldest Republic (since the year 301), not Ravenna.

2 October 2014

5th Century Christian churches and Dante's tomb in Revenna. Interesting factoid: the churches did not yet depict the crucifiction in their mosaics of this period. Best I could understand from our guide, the subject of Christ suffering was too shocking for such new believers. Most if not all early believers could not read and the mosaics served a way for them to learn the stories of the Bible. I'm not certain if 5th century believers even had the term "Christian" yet.
Revenna Square, Revenna -- Tomb of Dante is close by (will visit his tomb this afternoon); Revenna is the world's oldest Republic, founded in 350 AD, according to our tour guide. Have to verify that..
St Luke Basilica -- tomb of St Luke

1 October 2014

Venice is beautiful in the rain.
Venice, the wet city

30 September 2014

St Anthony in Paduva
San Miguel church in Luca

29 September 2014

Wine tasting in San Gimignano
San Gimignano

28 September 2014

David, the late-life Pieta by Michelangelo, and lunch with my bride in Florence.

27 September 2014

Near the Galileo Museum in Florence for lunch

26 September 2014

Village of Assisi
Our hotel in Assisi

25 September 2014

Santa Croce in Gerusalemme - Several well-known relics of disputed authenticity are housed in the Cappella delle Reliquie. They include: a part of the Elogium or Titulus Crucis, i.e. the panel which was hung on Christ's cross; two thorns of the crown; an incomplete nail; and three small wooden pieces of the True Cross itself; A large fragment of the Good Thief's cross; The bone of an index finger, said to be the finger of St. Thomas that he placed in the wounds of the Risen Christ; A single reliquary containing small pieces of: the Scourging Pillar (to which Christ was tied as he was beaten); the Holy Sepulchre (Christ's tomb); and the crib of Jesus; Some fragments of the grotto of Bethlehem. ~ Professor Wiki
We split off from our group to visit the Vatican Galleries. They'd gone a few years ago. We aw the Sistine Chapel from beneath the ceiling itself. I was hoping we were not going to be kept from entering like the other pieces we'd visited -- such as the Pieta and St Peter's Tomb. But you cannot take photographs in the chapel room. Strictly enforced. The ceiling is quite something more in real life. This photo is from the Internet. We waited in the rain for about 3 hours.

24 September 2014

Michelangelo's Pieta and St Peter's Altar by Bernini
St Peter's Square in audience to the Pope

23 September 2014

The Hotel Villa Vecchia
The Coliseum
Arch of Constantine
St Peter's prison cell
Caesars' Palace
At Newark International Airport

21 September 2014

Midnight train to Newark