Friday, January 25, 2008

An Italian Car Show

Michelle helps out the locals.

Mini Cooper.


VW Bug.

Something about a 1.3 liter engine that does not excite me, give me some detroit muscle

It's Offical, The wedding is on.

Mike and Lindsay have set the date. Wedding to be April 22 2008 at Pensacola Florida with a Reception in Mantoon Illinois on April 26Th. Official Invitation to follow.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

More of Venice

My new boat.

Saint Mark's.

Venice at night.

Michelle gets a little to friendly.



This week we went to Venice for our 36th Wedding Anniversary. Yes, 36 years ago today, two young kids set off with three hundred bucks to their name. It must of been love, as we are still going strong. We had a great time in Venice, stayed in a restored Hotel / Palace that dated back to the 1700's. We found a small ristorante that served us a meraviglioso meal. The Gilato was flowing freely as Michelle said I had eight, but who’s counting.

Overview of the History of Venice
For nearly 1400 years, the two or three miles of shallow water separating Venice from mainland Italy, had not only protected Venice from invaders but effectively isolated the Venetians from the Italian political life.
Untouched by the papalist and imperialist warfare, feudalism and territorial squabbles; they fixed there attention towards the East and the rich markets of the Levantine and Constantinople. And so began the great mercantile empire of the Venetian Republic.
A city built from fear, was soon to be heralded as the most dazzlingly beautiful city in the world. While the Florentines were regarded as great thinkers, the Venetians should be regarded as great doer's. For they alone conquered the malaria-ridden swamps to build a city from nothing.

Italian 101

Monday, January 21, 2008


The Milano Cathedral (Duomo) the 4th largest in Europe.
The Monument to Leonardo.

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele.

The Sforza Castle, the first fort used to defend the city.

Enzo Daniella Leonardo (2) and Victorio (7 months)


This weekend Michelle and I took a trip to Milano, Milan for you people back in the states. There we met with My cousin Enzo and his wife Daniella and two children, Leonardo and Victorio. Enzo and his family welcomed us into their home and provided us with a traditional Italian dinner, a dinner that brought back memories of my grandmother. They also gave us a personal tour of Milano along with some narration of it’s history.

Pre 20th Century History
Milan was founded by a group of meandering Celts. These Celts also had a notion to take over Rome, but the Romans beat them to the punch in 222BC and took over the town. They gave the descriptive if rather unimaginative name Mediolanum (middle of the plain). The city grew from a key pitstop on the trade routes between Rome and Northwestern Europe into the capital of the Western Empire and a site of religious significance after Emperor Constantine announced an edict here in 313 AD granting Christians freedom to worship.
From these lofty beginnings, the city descended into centuries of chaos caused by waves of barbarian invasions. But scrappy Milan mastered the art of the comeback, forming a commune (town council) in the 11th century that led the city into a period of rapid growth.
The Holy Roman emperor, Frederick I, decided to exploit the local conflicts, and attacked Milan in 1162. Now united by a common enemy, the surrounding towns banded together and kicked Frederick out to the curb in 1176.
Under the latter dynasties, Milan enjoyed considerable wealth and power. The city came under Spanish rule in 1535 and was given to Austria in 1713 as part of the Treaty of Utrecht. Napoleon made Milan the capital of his Republic in 1797 and of his Italian Republic five years later, and the city hosted his coronation as King of Italy in 1805.
Austria regained control of the city from 1814-1859, but troops commandeered by Victor Emmanuel II and Napoleon III soon wiped up the Austrian forces at the Battle of Magenta. Milan was incorporated into the Kingdom of Italy in 1860.
Modern History
During WWII central Milan was heavily bombed, leaving the opera house blown to smithereens and entire neighborhoods near the centre mostly in ruins. Italy surrendered to Allied forces on September 8, but two weeks later Mussolini declared a new Fascist republic, forcing a drawn-out bloody fight against the Allies and fellow Italians. The Northern Italian resistance movement came to a head in 1945, when an insurrection in Milan toppled the occupying Nazi forces in three days, and Mussolini was shot dead trying to flee the country.
The postwar industrial boom led by car manufacturing and access to northern Europe via new Alpine tunnels produced yet another of Milan's signature growth spurts. Milan was also making a concerted effort to clean up its act in the wake of organized crime and scandals. The city was shocked into action by the 1995 mafia-hit murder of Gucci heir Maurizio Gucci (ordered by his estranged wife) followed by a rash of mafia hits in 1999. The corruption that now appears have affected even Milan's beloved football teams.

Trento gets snow too

Although it has not snowed in Trento for several years, today it did and the Luca and Giulia loved it

Monday, January 14, 2008

A Prayer for Mom

Inside the church

Bolzano, the main church

Bolzano has strong German roots


There's a new dog in town, Dakota

Trento History

Trento was a place of some importance from an early period by virtue of its commanding situation at the junction of the trading route from Venice up the Val Sugana with the road over the Brenner and was strongly fortified. From 1027 to 1803 is was the residenace of the prince-bishop directly subject to the emperor. From 1545 to 1563 it was the meeting place of the council of Trent, who liad down the of the Counter-Reformation. Between 1814 and 1918 it belonged to Austria, after the peace treaty of Saint Germain to Italy. In 1948 the province of Trento was combined with the province of Bolzano, which included the German-speaking Alto Adige or South Tirol to form the region of Trentino-Alto Adige. To this day, even though this area is a part of Italy, there are many areas in which the people speak German, as we found out on our visit to Bolzano.

Monday, January 7, 2008

We are still discovering Trento, very easy to get lost so we always carry our trusted map. It is easy to see why they love living here so much. Getting euro’s for dollars was more difficult than the last time I was in Italy, mainly because Trento is much smaller than Rome and the dollar value is currently so low compared to the euro. The food is fantastic, the building, churches, art work are all breath taking. I am just amazed at the overall condition of the buildings and the way they are constructed. Hope all is well in the good old USA....

Piazza Duomo

Main Square or Palazzo Pretorio in Trento

Den floor

Yes, that's a wood floor

Apartment floors

The floors in their apartment are unbelievable, considering they were installed back in 1750 without any power tools, the workmanship is superior. I wonder if the floors being installed in our time will still be around in 250 years..

Via San Pietro


Arrived safe and sound. Some pictures of the area where Christine & Andrea live.