As you might have figured out by now, I had no time to blog on our sister's trip to Italy. We hit it hard every day. I'm the early bird of the bunch while all the rest are night owls. We had a fabulous time. I'm going to let the pictures speak for themselves.
Piers suggested a really good restaurant near our hotel. We asked one of the clerks at the front desk for directions. We walked all around and couldn't find it. I went back to the hotel to ask again. The manager said follow me---so I did. The rest of the girls laughed when they saw me following him. He literally walked us to the restaurant which was only about 2 blocks away. Those Italians sure are nice---even to idiot Americans!
We took the train to Napoli where we met our driver and went to Pompeii. Afterwards, we went to Sorrento for the afternoon. It's a beautiful city set on the sea. We had the afternoon to browse around the shops. Of course we had to get gelato.
We missed our train from Rome to Florence. Our driver got us there in plenty of time, but we missed the announcement of a platform change. When am I going to learn---if there's no one else around, we must be in the wrong place! That put us late getting in to Florence so we had to adjust our schedule. We wanted some time at the leather market which really wasn't on the itinerary. That's the beauty of private drivers---they will do whatever you want and take you wherever you want to go.
We only had an hour at the market. Not nearly enough time when you consider we spent about a half hour standing in line to buy salami, cheese, olives and bread for our lunch in the car. Still, we managed to come away with some beautiful leather goods.
Our great-grandfather was a ship builder. La Spezia was a naval base, so it's very likely that he worked for the military. Our great-grandmother was a seamstress who made men's suits. We were told that rather than men's suits, she most likely made military uniforms as many young women did back then.
With our guide as interpreter, we learned that nothing remained of the homes of our former great-grandparents. Basically, they immigrated to the US around 1910. Just about the entire town was bombed during WWII. There is a well-known doctor in town whose last name is Foce. This man is going to try to find out if there is some relation there. He also has 7,000 photos. He's going to send some of those to Jeanne.
This is the beautiful altar of the new church---which is actually about 70 years old now.
In the afternoon, we had a picnic and poker game in the private garden. We played with Euros.
It was a fabulous trip with six amazing women. I'm so glad they are my sisters!