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November 2006 - Italy

Italy | Nettuno | Old walled City above the marina

November 30, 2006

Buon giorno, We ran errands early. We went to the internet, hardware store, paint store, butcher and grocery store. We came home and had lunch then took after the teak again. Al put two layers of clear coat on the teak combing and winch islands. It's hard to keep up with the drips but somebody's got to do it :-) We stopped after two coats to give it a chance to dry (3:30 is getting late in the day to do this kind of work) We've heard from Bob and Val that they got home safely amidst a sleet and snow storm in Duluth. We continue to enjoy warm sunny, days(70-75 F) and colder nights (45 F) Justin too wrote he was home. They were busy putting up Christmas lights on the palm trees in the marina. Before coming here we didn't realize Rome, Italy had palm trees. Love, Ciao,

Love Sally and Al

November 29, 2006

Buon giorno, Today we got after the teak winch islands and combing cap again. We sanded most of it off last August and then finished it up with stripper before going to Venice. Today we used the "Signature" product we have on the toe rail. It's a 3 step product. First we used a two step teak cleaner and brightener. After that dried Al lightly sanded and wiped it clean. Next we put on 3 coats of Honey teak. Its applied wet on wet so we were able to get three coats on today. We had to wait a few hours for the clear coat so we decided to wait until tomorrow. If you put it on when it's still tacky you don't have to scuff between the Honey teak and the clear coat. But it was getting late so tomorrow we'll take after it again. It looks wonderful. My job was to clean up the drips :-( and be the "gopher" (Go for this and go for that). I also scrubbed my throw rugs and hung them to dry. With the cost of laundry some things are just done by hand. Al's mom and dad moved to Maple Manor in Maple Lake so they have a new address and phone number. For those who need to up date there address book, it's

Francis and Annette Pribyl Apt #4 333 West 2nd St. NW Maple Lake, MN 55358

phone 320-963-6261 One last thing for today. Please don't send any attachments or -"chain letters" (pass it on type) to this email. I love them but we need you to send them to the land email address- Pat and Nicci even sent us a little video clip which was fun. This boat address needs to be kept virus free and we can't receive attachments on it. Love, Ciao,

Love Sally and Al

November 28, 2006

Buon giorno, Al and I sadly walked Justin up to catch the 7:50 AM train this morning. He'll be home in Chicago tonight around 7:30 PM. (1:30 AM Nettuno time). We did errands and boat work today. We stopped in to see Claudio at the ships store. He put special lines on the boat to help with chafing. We have two off the bow attached to the mooring chain and two off the stern with rubber coated springs attached to the quay. We ordered some hose for our new bilge pump. Claudio is a great guy and always tells Al, "Don't worry Mr. Al I take care of you. You go home to the US and I watch your boat." We went up town to retrieve Al's jeans that didn't come back with the laundry we had done. We picked up some fresh bread, shrimp and pork to grill. We had a picnic of pizza on our way back to the boat. It was another absolutely gorgeous day in the 70's. Al worked on the bimini cover(cockpit awning) with his newly repaired sewing machine. Frustration plus as it was difficult to get the proper tension adjustment and he kept balling up or breaking the thread :-( If that wasn't enough aggravation for one day, he decided to fix our American flag... I took after the rust on the Monitor wind vane with rubbing compound. My job was a lot easier it seems that what Al was up to. Love, Ciao,

Love Sally and Al

Italy | Rome | Pyramide gate

Italy | Rome |Old Roman wall and gate

Italy | Rome | San Callisto Catacombe

November 27, 2006

Buon giorno, Justin, Al and I took the 9:30 train to Rome. Then we caught the metro to Pyramide. We walked to the Pyramid of Caius Casteo and Porta San Paolo (one of the gates of Rome). We walked along the old wall of Rome to another gate Porta San Sebastian. We continued walking out to Appia Antica area to visit the Catacombs of San Callistro. It took over an hour and the catacombs were closed until 2:00. So we walked further along Appia Antica and saw Mausoleum of Romulous, Circus of Marentius and the Tomb of Cicillia Metella. At 2:00 we went back to tour the catacombs. It covers over 35 acres and has four levels. There were over 500,000 christians buried here up until the year 300. It was the official burial grounds for the bishops of Rome and six popes were buried here. The remains of Santa Cecilea were found here. We took a bus to San Giovanni di Laterano and then we walked to San Pietro in Vincoli. We stopped for a slice of pizza along the way. Justin took pictures of Moses an the chains of St. Peter.

Italy | Nettuno | Al Centro di Rodolfo e Fortuna | Dinner with son Justin

We caught the 5:00 train back to Nettuno. We went to the internet to check mail and Justin's flight information. Justin took Mom and Dad out to dinner in Nettuno's old city at Al Centro di Rodolfo e Fortuna. They had just reopened after remodeling. Grandpa waited on us showing the younger ones "the ropes". He was so cute, telling us what we wanted to eat and teasing. We had a local wine, mussels, pasta funghi, Justin and Al had pork chops and I had calamari. We had great homemade desserts. Yum! :-) Al burned DVD's of our pictures for Justin to take home while Justin packed to go home. :-( Another sad day tomorrow. Love, Ciao,

Love Sally and Al

November 26, 2006

Buon giorno, I made ham and cheese omelets as everyone showered and Bob and Val put their luggage together. We hurried up to catch the 10:30 train to Rome only to find they had canceled it. So we took turns watching the luggage and walking around town. There was a craft fair much like the ones we usually have during the Christmas season. I found a refillable butane lighter and butane. (another present from Bob and Val :->) We caught the 12:30 train to Rome. Bob and Val went to check into their hotel. Justin, Al and I walked around. San Pietro in Vincoli (St. Peter of the Chains) wasn't open until 3:00 so we walked to the Roman Baths of Caracalla and then to San Giovanni in Laterano to meet Val and Bob. The Baptistery was lovely but the highlight of our day was San Giovanni's Basilica. It is still the Papal seat and it is absolutely beautiful. It's interior is the shape of a Latin cross with a nave and two side aisles. Above the baldacchino are the silver reliquaries holding the relics of St. Peter and St. Paul's heads. The wooden alter St. Peter used in the catacombs is preserved in the Papal altar. We plan to visit again tomorrow when the museum is open. We walked quite a ways looking for a restaurant we had heard about but it was closed. So we found Restaurante "Andrea" and had the best meal we've "eaten out" in Italy. We had an assortment of yummy pastas, bread and wine for our first course,and Al and Justin had Romano Pollo (chicken) and Bob, Val and I had veal medallions. We had tarimasu, white chocolate torte, and chocolate souffle for dessert. We said sad good-byes to Bob and Val and parted for hotel and train station. Our train was canceled again. So we caught the 9:50 train back to Nettuno. Love, Ciao,

Love Sally and Al

November 25, 2006

Buon giorno, We slept in today and stayed in Nettuno. Oh it felt so good. This tourist business is hard work. Cruising is much easier. After showers and breakfast we headed for Anzio. It was sunny and warm, no jackets. We walked to Anzio and visited the Anzio Beachead World War II Museum. They had a great video in English and the artifacts, newspaper clippings, pictures etc. were wonderful. We understood the story of what happened in Anzio before the Allies were able to move forth into Rome so many months later. We walked back to Nettuno and had lunch. We had a great mixture of seafood for our antipasta and then we each ordered a pasta. We picked up steak, salad and bread for supper. We went to 5:30 mass and then came back and grilled supper. We sure enjoy our guests on board. We stay up way past 8:30 yakking each night. Al and I may feel a little bit lonesome after they leave. We'll all travel to Rome with Bob and Val tomorrow, tour, and say our good-byes. Bob and Val will stay at a hotel in Rome as they will fly out early Monday morning. :-( Love, Ciao,

Love Sally and Al

November 24, 2006

Buon giorno, We caught the 8:30 train into Rome. We joined a "free" English speaking tour of St. Peter's. Our guide was absolutely wonderful. Al and I had visited St. Peter's three other times and we learned so much from this young man. It's so much nicer not having your face in a book and simply enjoying the beauty surrounding us. At the end of the tour he informed us he does work for tips and we were welcome to join him on the tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel for 42 Euro's a person including the 12 Euro admittance fee. We chose not to carry on with him on the tours but I'm sure it would have been very informative. We went to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel on our own. I can't imagine what it must be like during the busy season because we were funneled through like sheep. The artwork was magnificent but you couldn't begin to follow along in a tour book. We went to lunch at a nice restaurant. The Italian bread is oh so good. We had brochette, anti pasta, insalada, rigatoni, spagetti, pizza, and wine.

Italy | Rome | St. Peter's Basilica

Italy | Rome| St. Peter's Basilica | View St. Peter's Square from St. Peter's Dome

After lunch we went back to St. Peter's and went up the elevator to the dome overlooking the interior of the Basilica Whoa...what a view the lower statues are 12 ft tall and the higher ones 18 ft. tall but each level looked to be the same height. The marble floors seen from so high looked magnificent. All of the paintings (really mosaics) in St. Peters are copies of original paintings. Justin and I climbed up the 320 steps from this level to the top cupole of St. Peters. The steps became quite narrow and they actually leaned in as did the walls. The view was fantastic. The city of Rome, St. Peter's square, the Vatican gardens, and the Papal Palace and gardens. A beautiful and interesting perspective when seen from the height of St. Peters. We visited the tombs of the Popes. John Paul II had flowers and guards. St. Peter's tomb is magnificent. We had seen it from above in the Basilica but it's quite impressive from below. We caught the subway back to Termini Train Station. The subway at that time of night is belly to back packed in trains and more people pushing on at each stop :-( We caught the 6:10 train back to Nettuno. Supper was easy, Thanksgiving leftovers! Love, Ciao,

Love Sally and Al

Italy | Nettuno | Artemis Thanksgiving| Val and Bob Ouelette and our son Justin

Italy | Nettuno | Thanksgiving Aboard Artemis| Al carving our Turkey

November 23, 2006

Buon giorno, Happy Thanksgiving! We sent the guys hunting for turkey and they had success :-) They came home with a huge 6 pound boneless breast and two big turkey thighs! We could have had a whole turkey but it never would have fit in our oven. Val and I made sausage/mushroom stuffing, squash, mashed potatoes, corn, and rolls. We couldn't find a pie and somewhere on this boat is my pie filling (couldn't find it) so we're having ice cream for dessert. It was a beautiful sunny day. Probably about 70 degrees. Bob fixed the sewing machine and they fixed the inverter. Boys are always happy with a project. We spent an hour at the internet too. The turkey is roasting and smells soooo good! Happy Thanksgiving to all and God Bless. Love, Ciao,

Love Sally and Al

Italy | Rome | St. Peter's Square | Pope Benedict

November 22, 2006

Buon giorno, We were all awake at 4:30 to winds and a thunderstorm. Al ran the engine to hold the boat off the dock. Live and learn...we know better but busy with guests. We had released our mooring line to pull us closer to the dock for easier on and off the boat. There was no way we were going to release the lines and pull it in tight until the wind stopped. We took in about 18 inches and went back to bed. We needed to be at St. Peters by 10:30 to see the Pope and receive his blessing. We skipped showers to catch the early train and the train was delayed a half hour. We caught the bus when we got Rome to St. Peters rather than the train because it was raining and the bus brings you closer to St. Peters. We got caught in rush hour traffic but we finally made it to St. Peters at 11:00 :-( Bob had said, "If it's meant to be it'll be." We made it in time. Pope Benedict speaks to each nationality in their language. We stood with over 5,000 other umbrellas (pilgrims) and listened. We climbed up on chairs for a better view and Pope Benedict gave a special blessing to us, our children, and our families. The tears and emotions really kicked in then. There was a group from Crookston diocese in Minnesota! When the groups from Kazakhstan were announced their choir sang liturgical music beautifully. The music filled St. Peter's square. Pope Benedict finished about noon. The crowds were slow to move and were lining up to visit St. Peters so we dried some seats and sat down for a picnic in the square. We imagined pilgrims of long ago breaking bread with family and friend in the square after the Papal blessing.

Italy | Rome | Tiber River

Italy | Rome | Trevi Fountain with son Justin

The crowds were too great so we decided to visit St. Peters and the Sistine Chapel another day. We walked...and walked simply enjoying the narrow cobblestone streets, the cafes, piazzas, and the architecture. We visited the Pantheon and remembered when Al and I sang with our college choir the Chamber Simgers back in 1971. Rather an emotional moment. We walked by Castel Sant Angelo and over the Tiber River. We walked through the Piazza Navona before heading to Trevi Fountain for a photo moment. Then we walked to Piazza de Spagna to climb the Spanish Steps. We took the early train home before the rain began again. Bob made his Raspberry Chicken on the grill, Val took charge of the wild rice, salad, and fresh bread from the bakery. "Twas an inspiring day... Goodness tomorrow is Thanksgiving. It'll be interesting putting together a Thanksgiving feast where it isn't celebrated. Well at least the stores will be open. Ciao,

Love Sally and Al

Italy | Rome | Collesium| son Justin

Italy | Rome | Collesium with son Justin

November 21, 2006

Buon giorno, We were up at 7:30 for coffee and showers. We had breakfast and took the 9:00 train to Rome. Bob, Val, and Justin took the tour of the Colosseum while Al and I walked around the forum and Capitoline Hill. We met them for a picnic lunch at 1:00 in front of the Colosseum. Al and I cheated we shared one of our sandwiches in the forum earlier. After lunch Bob, Val, and Justin toured the Palatine while Al and I climbed back up to Capitoline Hill. We met around 3:00 to tour the Roman forum and then we walked up to Capitoline Hill again. Al and I climbed all those steps three times. We walked up the Vittorio Emanuel monument What a view! We caught a bus to the Vatican to get reservation to see the Pope tomorrow. We took a quick look at St. Peters and then walked to the metro. We caught the 6:09 train to Nettuno. The guys went to the grocery store while Val and I went back to the boat to start dinner. We had spagetti with sausage, mushrooms and hamburger. Way more carne than Italian s eat! I'm way behind on personal emails but having been gone to Venice and Florence for 5 days and 3 guests on board it may take me a while to catch up. We're off to see Pope Benedict tomorrow. Ciao,

Love Sally and Al

Italy | Anzio beach sson Justin

November 20, 2006

Buon giorno from Nettuno, We traveled by train with Bob and Val from Florence yesterday. We met Justin in Rome and traveled back to Nettuno together. We were up and enjoying coffee at home on Artemis about 8:00. We took our showers and had cereal for breakfast. We walked to Anzio to visit the War Memorial museum but it wasn't open on Monday :-( So we walked the beach and saw the ruins of Nero's villa and harbor. We visited the church and we were told the story of their bell. It was a gift from some American Italians from Rochester New York. A group of 250 people traveled from Rochester to present and dedicate the bell to the people of Anzio. We had lunch before heading back to Nettuno. We went to visit the World War II cemetery for the fallen military in Sicily, Nettuno and Anzio. It is quite impressive even on a second visit. We grocery shopped and went how. We picked up some lovely steaks to grill and Val made a great Greek salad. We drank wine and dipped our bread in balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Italian cake for dessert. Ciao,

Love Sally and Al

Italy | Florence | Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore

November 18, 2006

Buon giorno from Florence, We slept well. The apartment was very comfortable and the showers were great. We made coffee and had juice and fruit. Then we had pastry at the corner bakery. We visited Plaza San Marco (confusing as we were just in Venice and visited St. Marks). We toured the cathedral , the Duomo, Santa Maria del Fiore which is Europes fourth largest church. We toured the Bargello museum which houses Italy's finest sculptures including Donatello's David, and Mercury by Giambologna. We visited Dante's church and home. We saw where Michelangelo lived when he was 14 and studying sculpture. We went back to the apartment and move to our Bed and Breakfast for our second night in Florence. We had a big room for four and a bathroom. Not quite as nice as our previous accommodations. But for 75 Euro for four... The view was marvelous. We overlooked a beautiful garden and a lovely skyline and church. We went for lunch and extended our stay when the skies opened and the wind began to howl. We rain betw een raindrops back to the hotel and got our umbrellas. We went to the internet for an hour and it cleared up. We had a nice walk just wandering around town. We found several churches and Ponte Vecchio over the river Arno (only bridge left standing after World War II). We took some lovely night shots. The bridge had a light show. What a show the lights changed from shades of red to mauve to purple to blue, green and yellow. We stopped for ice cream and then wine, beer and a pizza snack before heading back to our B & B. Ciao

Love Sally and Al

Italy | Florence -Firenze |Bronze Baptistery doors

November 17, 2006

Buongiorno from Florence, We had another nice continental breakfast and then headed out for the train station. We stopped and picked up sandwiches for the train. We visited Church of Scalzi by the train station. It was so unexpected and absolutely beautiful. Our train left Venice at 10:30 and we arrived in Florence at 1:30. We walked about ten minutes to meet our guide to the apartment. What a pleasant surprise. For 70 Euro's we had a cute two bedroom apartment with kitchen and bathroom not 5 minutes from the Mercato Central.

Ghibeillino was modern but had local 16th century flavor. We walked to the Galleria dell Academia and toured the museum which featured Michelangelo's David. We toured for two hours then went to Piazza del Duomo. We toured the Baptistery of San Giovanni and saw the bronze doors. It was dark so we walked around the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (the Duomo) and bell tower. We'll go back tomorrow and visit in the daylight. We found a grocery store for a few supplies and headed back to the apartment. We had drinks before going to dinner. We went to Da Garibardi in Piazza del Mercato Centrale for dinner. This is the restaurant owned by the people we rented our apartment from. We had an excellent meal... wine, salad, two orders of spagetti and a 2 kilo steak Florentine to share. We had four yummy desserts all for about 20 Euros each. Tomorrow we explore Florence. Ciao

Love Sally and Al

Italy | Venice | Rialto Bridge

Italy | Venice | Hotel La Forcola | Val and Bob Ouellette with Sally

November 16, 2006

Buon giorno from Venice, We slept with the windows open so we woke to the sound of canal traffic and kids laughing as they walked to school. We showered...oh what decadence! We had radiator heated towels! How wonderful to have huge warm towels to wrap in after a shower. What an invention :-). We had a continental breakfast with wonderful warm fruited croissants, rolls, juice and cereal.

Italy | Venice | St. Marks Cathedral

Italy | Venice | Quadriga and St. Marks Clock Tower

We walked to St Marks square and visited the Basilica, attended mass, and climbed up to the museum. Oh what a view of both the interior of the basilica and overlooking San Marco's Square. We also toured Palazzo Ducale. The tour was well worth the 12 Euro's. Actually it was over whelming after 3 hours! One can only absorb so much beauty and history at one time. We traveled the Bridge of Sighs (named for the sighs of prisoners led to trial) into the prison...rather creepy. We went to lunch in a fun little Pizzeria on a little side street and had a variety of spaghetti. We walked, shopped and yakked our way back to the hotel. What fun to speak English and to have friend we share a history with!!! We regrouped and headed to the train station to buy Bob and Val's tickets to Florence and Rome. We filled our water bottles with wine along the way at a shop that locals bring in their containers to refill. Pinot Girgeo was 2 Euro's a liter and Merlot for 1.75 Euro. It was great wine too!! We went back to the hotel drank some wine and then went out for pizza and pasta. We were up after 10:00 two days in a row. Bob and Val may be a bad or good influence on us. Venetian food has more meat and it's spicier than other parts of Italy. Ciao,

Love Sally and Al

Italy | Ven