Our Trip to Italy-Part 1

6 Mar

A Slice of Life

 Bill Lites


 It was the Winter of 1999, and our friend Marsha was in the middle of an 18-month TDY assignment with Disney in Porte Marghera, Italy as part of the group supporting constructionof their second Disney cruise ship, the “Wonder.”  Marsha was a longtime writing friend of DiVoran’s who had worked for Disney on their first Disney cruise ship, the “Magic” and was very familiar with the surrounding Italian area.


She asked DiVoran and I if we would like to come visit her, as she had plenty of room for the both of us, in the rented apartment she was living in at the time.  She also mentioned that she could take some time off, if we came, and escort us around central Italy to see some of the many interesting and historical sites that area of the country had to offer.  Since I had accrued enough Sky miles with Delta Air Lines to get free round-trip flights for both of us, we thought, “This could be an opportunity of a lifetime!”  It didn’t take much arm-twisting to get us to agree to go, and we started making reservations.  The next thing we knew, were on our way.2

 Our first stop was in Milan.  After a one-hour bus ride from the airport to the Metro station, we took a 30-minute underground train ride to the town center, where we had lunch at the Autogrill.  Once we found our small quaint Hotel Speronari, we had a nap and our first laugh of the trip.  DiVoran spotted the “In case of fire” instructions on the back of our hotel room door; it read “Remain in a quiet and calm mood, walk on your fours, and protect your nose and mouth with a damp handkerchief.” What a hoot!  But then, how silly that would sound if I tried to say that in Italian?  After a cup of tea, we were ready to venture out to see some of the sights of the city.


Our hotel was just one block off the city square, which was surrounded with elegant shops, filled with beautiful jewelry, furs, and luxurious fabrics.  Every third woman was wearing some type of fur coat.  We had never seen so many fur coats in our lives.  The Duomo (cathedral) in Milan’s, city square was a must see, and we were properly impressed.  It is the third largest Duomo  in Europe and took 500 years to build.  It is beautifully decorated inside with 52 Sequoia columns, each 150 feet tall, and as many as 2000 carved statues gracing the outside.


A Japanese couple, who had just been married, were in the process of having their pictures taken in the Piazza Duomo among all the pigeons and tourists.  What a sight that was.  After that, we got directions on how to get to the Castello Sforzesco, which was built in the 15th century and houses Michelangelo’s unfinished Rondanini Pieta.


 Back in the city square, we strolled the streets looking at the many fresh fruit and vegetable stands.  Then we came across a candy store where their fruits looked so real we couldn’t believe it, and sure enough, they weren’t, they were Marzipan.  What a surprise!  Of course, DiVoran had to have some, and boy were they good.  They were so unusual that we brought some home and kept them in our freezer for years.


    —–To be Continued—–


3 Responses to “Our Trip to Italy-Part 1”

  1. CaliZona March 6, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    Like your post! Wish the photos were bigger. : )


  2. DiVoran Lites March 6, 2013 at 10:19 am #

    Anybody thinking of Italy?


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