Tag Archives: Memories of Germany and Italy

Random Memories of Germany, Trips to Italy-Part 6

26 Sep

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

For the last of my memories of trips to Italy, I would like to tell you about when we stopped at Trieste.

Trieste is located in the northern part of Italy that has been dominated by many different nations throughout its history:  Austria/Hungary, Italian (Roman), France (three times during the Napoleonic Wars), Germany (with Mussolini as head) during WW2, Yugoslavia.  It was finally officially annexed to Italy in 1954.  The border questions with Yugoslavia and the status of the ethnic minorities (Slovenes in Italy and Italians in Yugoslavia)  were settled definitely in 1975 with the treaty of Osimo.  (Please see Wikipedia for more information)

Trieste is a natural port on the Adriatic, and is nearly surrounded by Slovenia.  Here is a picture that Fred’s father took while stationed in Trieste following WW2.  Don’t know the name of the Navy Cruiser, but it is a U.S. ship, and it is in the port of Trieste. 

 Another picture says it was possibly bringing Omar Bradley to visit.  Sorry, no picture of Bradley.

Fred’s parents lived for a while in this building in Trieste following WW2, 

on what he calls the “mezzanine” – it was the level under the “arches” – but not the ground level.  Between the ground floor and the second floor.  And here is our picture of that same building.

Here is a picture that Fred’s dad took of the living room of the apartment in the mezzanine, in July 1948. 

 And also in 1948 is a picture of Fred, his sister Emily, and their mother in front of the Fontana dei Tritoni in Trieste. 

One of Fred’s fondest memories of Trieste (and why he wanted to show it to me) was the Miramare Castle.  The Castle was used by the U.S. military as an Officer’s Club following WW2 (the British assigned to Trieste could use the O’Club as well).  Fred says they would attend church on Sundays, then go to Miramare Castle for lunch.  That was not the case when we visited in 1970 – we didn’t enter the Castle, as I remember.  But we toured the gardens, and they were beautiful.

1948

1970

1970 – some of the gardens, Miramare Castle – Judy by statue

Fred said he would take a G.I. bus to Miramare Castle and essentially spent all day swimming.  Here is a picture of his family – probably him and his siblings and parents – in the water. 

And here is a picture of that same spot that we took on our 1970 trip.

He said the beach was pretty rocky, so some sand was brought in to make a sandy beach. 

Another view of the beach

 Also, a “platform” or float was built on top of some large empty drums, where one could sit and sun, or dive off into the water.

Fred remembers walking to the docks when he lived in Trieste – it was only a few blocks to the docks from where they lived.  He would go there and watch the ships come and go. 

It was a lovely time of remembrance for Fred as we toured that city.  And an interesting city, as well.

A street in Trieste-1948

~~~~~~~~~~And so ends our trips to Italy~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Random Memories of Germany-Trips to Italy Part 5 B

12 Sep

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Still thinking about our trips to Pisa, Italy…

We still concentrated our visit to Pisa on the Cathedral and it’s Leaning Tower.

The Cathedral with the Leaning Tower (bell tower) Picture by Fred Wills

I’ve mentioned previously that we stopped in a shop in Pisa that specialized in marble, alabaster, and “composition” figurines.  Here are pictures from a brochure from that very shop.

Last time I presented pictures of the marble lampstands we purchased,

as well as the composition tumbling angels, 

and the composition figures of Moses and the discus thrower.  

Here is a picture of some alabaster “fruit” they had. 

We have enjoyed all these things, ever since 1968.

I noticed in the brochure that they had marble stands that look very much like the one I inherited from my Aunt Jessie.  However, I KNOW she never went to Italy, and am not sure where she acquired hers.  She had it a long time – as here is a picture of her in 1949 standing by it in her house in San Antonio, Texas, 

and another of her living room in Albuquerque in 1954.

And here it is in our living room, in Orlando, Florida.

Wikipedia also states that there are several medieval palaces in Pisa.  Wow did we miss a lot!  I don’t remember visiting any palaces in Pisa!  

Also from Wikipedia:   Pisa was the birthplace of the important early physicist Galileo Galilei. It is still the seat of an archbishopric. Besides its educational institutions, it has become a light industrial centre and a railway hub. It suffered repeated destruction during World War II.

Since the early 1950s, the US Army has maintained Camp Darby just outside Pisa, which is used by many US military personnel as a base for vacations in the area.

I believe we stayed on Camp Darby when we visited Pisa.  It was a nice place to “base” our explorations of the area.

~~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Random Memories of Germany-Trips to Italy Part 5

5 Sep

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Another Italian city where we stopped was Pisa.  I’ve written about Pisa in previous musings, but I want to talk about just Pisa today – not as part of other trips.

I think the most renown aspect of Pisa is the “Leaning Tower.”  However, I was reading about Pisa in Wikipedia, and found that it has some very interesting facts that I didn’t know.  For instance, Pisa was a major city by the sea.  According to Wikipedia:

The maritime role of Pisa should have been already prominent if the ancient authorities ascribed to it the invention of the naval ram.  It was the only port along the western coast between Genoa and Ostia (Rome).  Also according to Wikipedia: The power of Pisa as a maritime nation began to grow and reached its apex in the 11th century, when it acquired traditional fame as one of the four main historical maritime republics of Italy.  The Arno River played an important part in that.

The University of Pisa is located in Pisa, and, according to Wikipedia:  is one of the oldest universities in Italy. It was formally founded on September 3, 1343 by an edict of Pope Clement VI, and The University has Europe’s oldest academic botanical garden… founded in 1544.

There are many churches and museums in Pisa.  I guess we just didn’t know or realize all that when we visited, because we didn’t go to any.  Our main emphasis was on the church (the Piazza del Miracoli) and the Leaning Tower – which is the bell tower of the city’s cathedral.

Photo by Fred Wills

The Cathedral with the Leaning Tower (bell tower)

I’ve mentioned previously that we stopped in a shop in Pisa that specialized in marble, alabaster, and “composition” figurines.  Here are pictures from a brochure from that very shop.

Last week I presented pictures of the marble lampstands we purchased, as well as the 

composition tumbling angels, and the composition figures of Moses and the discus thrower.  Here is a picture of some alabaster “fruit” they had. 

We have enjoyed all these things, ever since 1968.

~~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Random Memories of Germany-Trips to Italy Part 4

22 Aug

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

One of the cities we stopped in was Florence.  I actually believe Florence is my favorite of all the Italian cities we toured.  I can’t even explain that – it just is.

The architecture in Florence is different from Rome and other Italian cities.  In some respects, I really like it, and others, well, not so much.  

For instance, here is a picture of one of the older buildings in Florence – with a clock tower – the Palazzo Vecchio.

Photo by Fred Wills

It houses some of Michelangelo’s best sculptures, such as David.  Here is the original of David.

Photo by Fred Wills

While I had known of Michelangelo’s David, I had never really studied the piece, especially to see the frown on his face.  It is the moment he saw and heard the giant (Goliath) tormenting the Hebrews and their God.  It made him mad!  That’s the look you see on David’s face.  Wonderful!

Photo credit to theartpostblog.com

You will notice that he already has his sling over his left shoulder, ready to use.  And his right hand holds the five smooth stones.  He’s ready to fight!  Amazing. 

Photo credit to nbcnews.com

I’ve read that Michelangelo, when faced with a large chunk of marble, would see the object “inside” the chunk, and then worked to get it out.  What an amazing way to look at sculpture.  And look at how smooth the piece is!  How did he get it that way, with hammer and chisel?  And the veins in David’s hands.  Michelangelo was truly gifted.

Here is a picture of the outside of that building – Palazzo Vecchio – with replicas of Michelangelo’s works.  They are enormous!  There is Neptune on the left, David in the middle, and far right is Hercules and Cacus.

Photo by Fred Wills

Perhaps seeing those statues inspired us to purchase a few for ourselves – not in that size, however!  We did purchase the Discus Thrower, and a Moses.  (There was store in Pisa that had all kinds of “composition” figurines as well as marble.  We purchased our “tumbling angels” and marble lampstands there, as well as the discus thrower and Moses)

There is a lot of controversy about Moses – he has horns!  From all we’ve been able to glean, there was a “mistranslation” of a scripture, and so Moses is seen with horns.  Interesting!  Someone suggested that Michelangelo effectively captures the rage of disapproval coursing through Moses body (credit timelessitaly).

There is another “type” of architecture in Florence that I really am not fond of.  It belongs to Santa Maria Novella (St. Mary’s cathedral).  I guess I just like the older type of architecture more.  But this is beautiful, in its way.  Here I am by the obelisk in front of St. Mary’s.

Santa Maria Novella – photo by Fred Wills

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Random Memories of Germany-Trips to Italy-Part 3

15 Aug

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Last time, I made this statement:   

This sign was before we went inside [the Vatican], and unfortunately, I don’t remember what it was of – whether it was some ceilings or something else of importance to the Vatican.  And, I don’t speak or read Italian, so am not sure just what it tells.

Our oldest daughter Karen, and her husband, Brian, have made a few trips to Europe, and Rome, and this was her response to that statement:

Regarding those signs at the end, they are for the tour operators to explain all the details of the Sistine Chapel before entering, because you’re not allowed to speak once inside. We took a tour a few years ago, and our guide stood by one of those signs to point out significant parts of the ceiling’s amazing artwork so we would know what we were looking at.

My thanks to Karen for supplying that piece of information.  It has just been too many years gone since we’ve been to Rome to remember it all, and I had forgotten that we were unable to speak once inside.

In any case, on with the story:  When we made our trip in 1970, we traveled by car, since we had gone to the Oberammergau Passion Play, then on down into Italy.  We made several stops along the way.  I am not going to present this in any particular order, just showing places we stopped, both in 1970 and 1982, with our girls.  In 1982, we took a bus trip/tour from Heidelberg over the Thanksgiving holiday.

We stopped in Venice.  I don’t remember just where we stayed in 1982, but it was a hotel in Venice itself.  I remember our girls were in a room by themselves, down the hall from us.  And so, I was alarmed one night, about 2:00 a.m. when it sounded like someone was trying to break into our room!  Finally, Fred shouted that he “had the wrong room” and the drunken man apologized and moved on down the corridor.  Then I was concerned that he would try to get into the girl’s room.  But they were safe, thank goodness!

In 1970, Fred had arranged a hotel for us outside Venice itself, in Mestre.  We drove across a bridge, parked in a large parking lot, and then toured Venice on foot and with water taxi.

But Venice was fascinating:  We saw the Dodge’s Palace and the Campanile and the Stairway of the Giants (Mars on the left, Neptune on the right)

We saw the Clock Tower in St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco)

We saw the Grand Canal and the Rialto Bridge

We saw the Bridge of Sighs

We saw many gondolas – some with passengers

We took a water taxi ride – such fun!

And TONS of pigeons!!!

~~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Random Memories of Germany-Trips to Italy Part 2

8 Aug

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

In 1970, Fred and I were able to take in the Oberammergau Passion Play (please see my previous posts – Oberammergau – November 25, 2012, Wiesbaden – Part 3 – February 7, 2021, and Wiesbaden – Part 4 – Italy)   According to my pictures, we did not go to Pompeii on that trip.  However, we did take a bus trip from Heidelberg in 1982 to Italy with our girls, and we did make it to Pompeii then.  Here are some pictures from that time in Pompeii.  Mt. Vesuvius is quite present in some of the pictures.

Karen and Janet, ruins of Pompeii, with Mt. Vesuvius in the background

Pompeii – ruins of the Forum

More ruins of Pompeii

And more ruins of Pompeii

And, of course, we spent time in Rome.  WOW!!  What a place!  I believe we were told that a lot of Rome had been covered over with centuries of dirt, and was not discovered until someone began digging for a foundation for a new building.  What to their surprise did they find….RUINS!  That stopped the building, and the excavation began.

Seems like I remember we didn’t take the car on our trip in 1968, so we got around Rome with either a bus or train in the city.  I remember a bus tour that took us to the Roman Forum ruins.

The Roman Forum

But I remember just walking around the city, as well.  Perhaps it was an on-and-off tour.  In any case, I remember when we found the Trevi Fountain, we were a bit disappointed that it was literally surrounded by buildings!  In order for Fred to get this picture, he had to stand in a shop doorway across the street in order to try to get the entire fountain in – and even that wasn’t too successful!  Remember the old movie, Three Coins in a Fountain in 1954?  I fell in love with that movie, and so insisted that we find that fountain!

The Trevi Fountain – from a store’s doorway across the street

While in Rome, we found the obelisk by St. Mary Major Church,

The Obelisk by St. Mary Major Church

we saw the Pantheon, 

we saw St. Paul Outside the Wall church, 

St. Paul Outside the Wall

we saw St. Peter’s Square and Basilica, 

and we saw the Victor Emmanuel Monument, that we were told the Roman’s call “The Wedding Cake” which amused us.

Victor Emmanuel Monument

When we made our Thanksgiving bus trip to Italy in 1982 with our girls, we covered Rome in more detail than Fred and I had done earlier.  We not only took in St. Peter’s Square, but we actually sat in on an “audience” with the Pope.  The Roman people loved him so much – I remember so many of them standing and shouting “Papa!!” just trying to get his attention.  That is nearly impossible, as there were thousands in attendance in the room.  We were waaayyy back , and this is the best picture we could get of that event.

Our “audience” with the Pope

Here’s a picture of the Swiss Guards that guard St. Peter’s and the Pope.

We also joined a group that toured the Vatican – the parts we were allowed to see.  We saw some gardens, and some of the inside.

The Vatican Gardens

This sign was before we went inside, and unfortunately, I don’t remember what it was of – whether it was some ceilings or something else of importance to the Vatican.  And, I don’t speak or read Italian, so am not sure just what it tells.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

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