Italy trip
April/May 2002: Italy

The Roman Forum - the Colosseum can be seen in the background. Not everything in Rome is ancient; there are several McDonald's in the city. If you go there and want to Super-Size your order, just say, "Gustalo Maxi!"

Carol stands in front of the Colosseum in Rome. Inside the Colosseum:

The triumphal Arch of Constantine (AD 312) celebrates the emperor Constantine and incorporates many previous works of Roman art.

St. Peter's Square in Vatican City - Joe in the square:

Swiss Guards near St. Peter's Basilica
Inside St. Peter's - Michaelangelo's Pieta is on display near the rear of the basilica:

Fresco above one of the side altars of St. Peter's Basilica - another side altar contained the remains of Pope John XXIII, since he is being considered for sainthood. It was kind of creepy because he was displayed in a glass case within the altar.

It's one thing to see dead people you don't know on exhibit - but I remember John XXIII. He was the chubby little Italian pope - after Pius XII and before Paul VI. John XXIII died in 1963.

This is another reason that popes are always buried wearing a cassock and traditional vestments. Imagine the embarrassment if a future generation exhumed Pope Paul VI (d-1978) and found that he was wearing a lime-green polyester leisure suit with epaulets and large white buttons.

Entrance to the Vatican Museum
Sistine Chapel and Miracle hat

Sistine Chapel ceiling with Cappello di Miracolo (Miracle Hat) strategically placed by Michaelangelo.

Joe is wearing his Miracle Hat at the Abbey of Montecassino, located about 80 miles southeast of Rome. The Abbey is the cradle of the Benedictine Order. The first abbey was established in the Sixth Century AD.

The Isle of Capri is quite rocky. We arrived by boat from Sorrento.

It's a very small island - 4 square miles - with steep hills and narrow winding roads.

There are tour taxis to take you to the peak (1,932 feet above sea level), if you wish. Most of them are little white Fiats which have been converted to stretch-limo convertibles.

We chose to take the funicular instead. The top of the island is full of shops for the tourist trade. But there are great views of the Tyrrhenian Sea below.

Carol at one of the many viewpoints:

There are very attractive gardens on Capri.

The Basilica of St. Francis dominates the small town of Assisi. The view from the hill on which the basilica sits is remarkable:

Venice is a city sited on a group of 118 small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges. It lives up to its name - "City of Water." St. Mark's Campanile, the bell tower of St. Mark's Basilica, dominates the skyline. As we neared Venice, we saw the Orient Express (with elegant, turn-of-the-last-century cars) pulling out of the train station.
Joe and Carol stand in the Piazza San Marco, with St. Mark's in the background.
One of Venice's many canals.
Joe (wearing Miracle Hat) and Carol ride in a Venetian gondola.
The lovely town of Baveno is located on the west shore of Lake Maggiore, near the Swiss border. One of the main attractions is an historic reach of villas and castles, built in the 19th century. Isola Bella - 'Beautiful Island' - is situated on the lake and is less than a square mile in size. The Palazzo Borromeo and its Italianate garden are located on Isola Bella:



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