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November 2010 - Western Italy

Mediterranean Sea |Tyrrhenean Sea| Italy | Tivoli | Villa d'Este

November 30, 2010

Hi Everyone, Al and I took the train to Rome on Saturday, Nov. 27 and then caught a bus to the hilltop town of Tivoli. Tivoli was the summer escape for rich Romans. Villa Adriana and Villa d'Este are Unesco World Heritage sites. We visited Villa d'Este and it's magnificent High Renaissance garden first. The villa is in the town of Tivoli. It has many interior frescoes but it's garden is what we came to see. Beautiful terraces with water spouting /Gargoyles, spectacular fountains powered by gravitational force, and elaborately designed avenues lined by cypress trees. Unfortunately the fountains have been winterized but the effect is still spectacular. There is one 130m path that has over 100 fountains. We met a nice young man from Denver at the Duomo who will be ordained this year as a priest in the Franciscan Order. He's been in Italy for 6 years. He translated "Our Cruising Story" to the teenagers acting as guides in the Duomo. They all thought they should come live with us:-)

Mediterranean Sea |Tyrrhenean Sea|Italy | Trivoli | Villa Adriana | Hadrian's Garden

After a picnic lunch we caught a bus to Villa Adriana about 5 km away. This was Emperor Hadrian's summer residence built between AD 118 and 134. Hadrian personally designed much of this huge complex. It was more like a town than a villa. His inspiration came from his travels of the world. The pecile, a large porticoed pool area where the emperor took his stroll after lunch was designed after a building in Athens. The canapa is a copy of the sanctuary of Serapis near Alexandria representing the Nile. It is a long canal of water surrounded by Egyptian statues. Hadrian's private retreat the Teatro Maritimo is built on an island in an artificial pool. We walked for hours very quickly and still did not see it all... Both Villa's are worth "Googling".

On Sunday, Nov. 28 we went with our friends on Quest, Robert and Christina to Rome to meet some other cruising friends from Kemer Turkey. Judy and Bob on "Pooh Bear" from Texas are renting an apartment in Rome for two months. We met them in the Trastevere area to go to the Sunday flea market. The Romans claim if something has been stolen during the week you can buy it back on Sunday at the market. It was a "zoo" jam packed with people looking an odd assortment of antiques and JUNK. But then one person's junk is another person's prize. This is the only place in Rome we've ever felt the danger of pick pockets. We are always so careful and I never carry anything on me. I did have a hand in my pocket one time and it wasn't mine! We had a nice lunch together and headed home after making plans for Pooh Bear to visit Nettuno on Thursday. We head for Chicago next Sunday. Pray for safe travel and good weather. Love and God Bless Sally and Al

Mediterranean Sea |Tyrrhenean Sea| Italy | Nettuno | Thanksgiving dinner aboard Artemis

November 25, 2010

Hi Everyone, Happy Thanksgiving! We woke this morning in Nettuno to a rainbow, some light rain and now patches of blue sky. Perhaps we'll have a nice day after all the rain we've had. We will have Thanksgiving aboard Artemis today. A whole turkey won't fit in our oven so we have a 5# breast and 2# thigh/leg meat pieces to roast with our sausage stuffing:-) I even remembered to bring back cranberries with us when we were home this summer. Our friends on "Quest" Christina and Robert will bring the mashed potatoes, vegetable and dessert. We are thankful Christina is out of the hospital after a week stay. She had a shock treatment to her heart to regulate heart beat. Then they needed to give blood thinners so she needed to stay until her blood counts were in appropriate levels. We could only visit 2 hours a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Italy has National medical so she was in a room with 6 women with not even a privacy curtain. Everything looked so run down and dirty. Not of the American standards for sure. The food was horrible so we would bring care packages and one day I took her homemade soup and fresh bread. But she is home now and thankful to be out and about again.

Salvatore the Italian who owns the boat next to Quest has been wonderful. He gave Robert a car to use and he or one of his sons would go and speak to the doctors for them. They also had Robert to lunch every day as they live a block from the marina. Al and I tried to visit Brother Aaron Loch at the seminary last Sunday. But it turned into a fiasco. We wandered around for 45 min. in the pouring rain and dark trying to follow the directions Brother Aaron gave us from the train station. Come to find out later we were on the wrong train system. The metro subway has a Valle Aurelia stop and the train to Cititavecchia has an Aurelia stop. Both leave from Termini station so when Brother Aaron and I talked I thought we were talking about the same train. So we missed the open house at the seminary, Christ the King mass, and meeting Brother Aaron. Hopefully we'll get a chance to meet him before we come home in a few weeks.

Also other sailing friends on "Pooh Bear" Bob and Judy have arrived from Turkey in Rome. But not by boat by plane. They've rented an apartment for a month in Rome. So we hope to see them too before we come home. Everyone has been busy this week around town and in the marina hanging Christmas lights and decorating for the holidays. The Christmas Market in Rome opens this week. So we are excited to get out and see the sights at night. Now if the weather will just cooperate. We don't mind a few sprinkles here and there but when it pours buckets it puts a damper on things. Hope everyone has a fun, Happy Thanksgiving. We have much to be Thankful for: Each other, kids, grandkids, family, friends,kind/helpful strangers, health...Love and God Bless Sally and Al

Mediterranean Sea |Tyrrhenean Sea|Italy | Nettuno |

November 13, 2010

Hi Everyone, It's been colder and rainier in Italy than it was Fall 2006. Fortunately the sun does come out and we don't have SNOW like Minnesota. Although I would have loved to have been in Cottage Grove when Josie woke up Saturday morning and told Auntie Chris to hurry and get up because it was Snow Day! Chris and Justin were in Minnesota for Emma's baptism and they are Godparents.

Tuesday our friends on God Speed, Cindy and Bob flew home to the states for a few months. So we all went out for dinner and a stop for gelato on Sunday and then Monday Quest had us aboard for dinner. We had a car for the day as Robert drove Cindy and Bob to the airport. It was good to see a little of the surrounding area. Veterans Day we walked up to the American Cemetery here in Nettuno for the celebration. This cemetery covers 77 acres and is quite beautiful. There are 7,861 American graves here which only represents 35% of the those who died in combat from Sicily to the liberation of Rome. (Many families r equested their loved ones be brought back to America for burial) There's also a chapel with 3,095 names inscribed on what is known as "The Wall of the Missing". I put up a few pictures on my Facebook page.

We went into Rome on Friday for the first time to just wander around. Had a great day with our friends Christina and Robert off s/y Quest. The museums were closed due to a strike but that wasn't our plan for this trip so we weren't disappointed. We walked around Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, P.zza Navona, Spanish Steps and had a nice lunch. It was especially nice to walk in the sunshine along the Tiber River(Fiume Tevere). We've discovered two new huge supermarkets up near the American Cemetery. A Carrfour and a Pam Super Store. It's been fun making some things I haven't made for a while. Pork chops and sauerkraut and apple crisp. I've been looking for oatmeal for apple crisp and finally found it.

Yesterday we made some headway on our bung project. As you may recall from a previous log this task involves resetting screws in our teak deck and then gluing a teak plug over the screw head. Our deck is 24 years old so every year we've replaced 200-300 of them. At the same time Al has started some of the varnishing that needs to be done. Tomorrow I plan to wash the hull to remove salt scum for the winter while Al continues on with the bung project. Unfortunately the forecast is for 3-4 days of rain again this week. Hope all is well and especially for Minnesota family and friends we hope the snow melts quickly. Love and God Bless Sally and Al

November 3, 2010

Hi Everyone, All is well in Nettuno, Italy. We are approximately 50km from Roma which is an hour 15 min. train ride. We are in the same marina we were in when we first came to the Med in 2006. Some things have changed for the good others we miss. The harbor breakwater and entrance have been redesigned and made our berth like sitting in a duck pond. We had winds Sat-Tues 38+ kts and we were hardly moving. Another new addition to Nettuno are self serving laundramats. Four years ago we were charged 20 Euro for a small load of laundry. Now we can do it ourselves 7 Euro. I really got tired of washing things by hand and hanging them about the boat to dry. So laundramats are a welcome surprise. What's missing? Well toilet seats for one. Not one toilet in the shower block men or women has a toilet seat. We may have to bring our own. These slips sell for 160,000 Euros ($224,000)and they don't have toilet seats! Also our friend Claudio who spoke wonderful English, watched our boat while we were in the US and helped us out when we needed things, no longer works in the marina. So we are looking for someone else to watch over our boats while we are home this winter.

We had lots of rain over the weekend and finally today the sun is out. Hooray! We have two other American boats with us here in Nettuno "God Speed" and "Quest". Both boats wintered in Turkey at Kemer while we were there. Bob and Cindy on God Speed are from Eden Praire, MN and Robert and Christina are from NJ. God Speed heads home next week until Jan. and Quest will probably leave when we do mid December. Both God Speed and Quest came into the harbor on Saturday and we had them over for dinner. Last night we were aboard God Speed for a "Pork Feast" purchased in Turkey of all places. (Pork was not easily found in Turkey). It's fun to have other English speaking friends around to go exploring with. Bob and Cindy use to lead the hikes back in Kemer so we look forward to some hiking next February when we're all back aboard our boats.

We were busy with boat projects over the past few rainy days. Oil and fuel filters changed on both engines, transmission fluid, zincs, some wiring. Al hard wired in 220 electrical so we can keep our transformer in the lazarette. We need the transformer to convert European power to Artemis' American electrical system. We usually use an inverter but this way we can by pass the inverter and use the shore power directly.

I had the first cold or allergies that I've had in a long long while. Fortunately the worst of it was over in 24 hours. Now I can breathe again and have a lingering slight cough. I think I'll go try out the laundramat today then tomorrow we'll take the train into Rome and enjoy a day of reacquainting ourselves. Hope everyone has a nice week. At least the campaign ads will be gone from the TV and radio:-) Love and God Bless Sally and Al

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