Phase Three
Back to Italy, then Home

Map - Milano to Venezia - 2005

Milano Duomo
I have looked forward for a long time to seeing the Duomo
(Cathedral) in Milano with my own eyes. When I was about 9,
my grandparents made their first trip back to Italy after
leaving there when they were teens to avoid the horrors
of World War I ("the war to end all wars").
There are two things I remember from my grandfather's
jerky home movies -- the Bridge of Sighs in Venice (see below)
and the almost unbelievable detail of the front of
Milano Cathedral. My plan was to fly from Athens to Milano, take a
look at the Cathedral, and then continue by train to Venice, all the
same day. Two things made this a very different experience from what
I had expected. The chosen day was 25 April, which is some kind of
holiday in Italy, and the Communists/Socialists in Milano had decided
to hold a rally in the Piazza in front of the Cathedral. The Piazza
and all the streets within blocks were jammed with people, and there
I was, inching my way along, with all my luggage! This side of the Duomo
is what I saw first, which gives you an idea why I wanted to view the facade.
The hordes of people were my first disappointment, but after about half
an hour of fighting the crowds, I finally got round to the front where
I saw . . .

Milano Duomo - covered
The entire facade of the Duomo was covered in scaffolding and cloth.
Oh well, at least next time it will be clean.

Map - Vittorio Veneto - 2005
Day Trip: Vittorio Veneto is my grandparents' home town.

Venezia - 'Street' Scene
Venice "street scene" (notice the water)

Venezia - Bridge of Sighs (postcard)
This is the famous Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs), on the right.
It's said that it got its name because prisoners were taken across it
from the Doge's Palace (left) to their executions (in the building on
the right), and they would sigh upon their last view of glorious Venezia.
(image from tourist postcard)

Venezia - Doge's Palace
The Doge's Palace (left) and the Grand Canal.

Venezia - Horses at San Marco
On the balcony of the Basilica di San Marco, where you can see
the replicas of the famous Four Bronze Horses (originals,
from the II century, are in the Basilica's museum,
just a few feet inside from this balcony).

Venezia - Basilica di San Marco (postcard)
Inside the Basilica di San Marco
(image from tourist postcard)

Venezia - San Marco (postcard)
The Basilica di San Marco, Piazza and Campanile (bell tower)
(image from tourist postcard)

Venezia - food
This is one of those fortunate mistakes -- a photo taken at the
table in the restaurant where I was having dinner, while testing
the camera in preparation for the sunset pictures below.
I know it's out of focus -- it adds to its charm! (it's a "feature")

Venezia - sunset
Sunset over Venice, literally taken from the table in the restaurant.

Venezia - sunset
Same vantage point, except that I stood up to get the reflection
off the Grand Canal.

Map - Venezia, Pisa, Firenze - 2005

Leaning Tower of Pisa? You be the judge

It looks to me like it's not leaning that much.

Maybe it's the buildings in the town that are leaning!

. . . or mabye the Duomo (Cathedral), right, is the part that leans

OK, I was just playing camera tricks.

Pisa - Piazza dei Miracoli
The whole layout is really quite impressive. The Battistero
(Baptistry) is nearly as big as the Cathedral, and it is,
in effect, one room with one purpose. The buildings seen here
are laid out on a large, open, grassy space called
"Piazza dei Miracoli" -- "Miracle Square".

Firenze Duomo
This Duomo (Cathedral) of Firenze and it's matching Battistero are
remarkable. Those patterns aren't paint, they're inlaid,
matched marble!

Firenze - Bartolini memorial inside Santa Croce
Memorial to sculptor Lorenzo Bartolini in the Basilica di Santa Croce, Firenze

Map - Firenze, Siena, Roma - 2005
Though I have no pictures, a note about Siena: there are images
of the Romulus/Remus/Wolf statue (see above) everywhere, yet Siena
is at least two hours (by train) away from Rome. Also, the
inscription SPQS is seen everywhere -- Senatus Populusque Siena?
I didn't have enough time there to find out. I highly recommend
Siena, by the way, as a fine example of "High Tuscany";
quite a beautiful almost-mountaintop setting.

Map - Giolotti, Roma
One last thought before saying "Arrivederci Roma" -- DON'T MISS
GIOLOTTI. I've included this map to help you find it, as it's not
easy to locate, but you must not fail to visit this Gelateria.
You think you've had ice cream? You ain't seen nothin' yet!


Schiphol - Next Toilets sign
Seen in Amsterdam's sprawling Schiphol airport. (I had to clean up the
text a bit to make it more readable, as the picture was blurred,
but I swear, I didn't change a word!)

Firenze - Accademia ticket
The tickets to museums and churches are sometimes as nice as
some of the art inside! This one is for the Accademia in Firenze,
where the original David of Michelangelo stands.

Firenze - Bargello ticket
Museo del Bargello, Firenze

Philadelphia - Dali exhibition ticket
The Dali exhibition in Philadelphia

Ephesus - archeological sites ticket
The archeological sites at Ephesus

Firenze - Santa Croce ticket
Basilica di Santa Croce, Firenze. This church is remarkable, as it contains
the actual tombs of Michelangelo Buonarroti, Niccolo Machiavelli,
Gioacchino Rossini and Galileo Galilei, as well as works of art
by the likes of Canova, Donatello, and Della Robbia, among many others.

Greece - phone card
A regular phonecard. The Greek is transliterated "Tele Karta" -- Telephone Card

Athens - 'Be Careful' sign on train
How can all that Greek simply be translated as, "Be Careful"?
Somebody got lazy.

Turkey - King Fried Chicken
You tell me what a "Bugget" is. By the way,
the price of 1.50 is in New Turkish Lire
which, last year, would have been 1,500,000 Turkish Lire.
It is said that they revalued their currency because they were
running out of room on the paper money and on signs like this!

Kusadasa - Pekeroptik
no comment

Caserta, Italy graffito
Graffito in the railway station in Caserta, Italy (near Napoli)

Firenze graffito
Graffito on a wall in Firenze

Firenze - Spleen Cafe
No, I didn't eat here, so I don't know the answer to your question.