Italian Mosaic 2005

This trip to Italy was well planned as always, by my wife. I am a good listener and try to be cooperative.

Italy has a vast amount of ancient history as well as modern history. The country has had many governments over the years and they change often due to the direction of the wind or circumstances.

Day 1- Friday, May 20- We boarded our flight at Los Angeles International Airport. It is one of the few international airports without rail or subway access. Leave it to the politicians of California to help us keep that dubious distinction. It seems to be constantly under construction and never seems to improve.

Day 2- Saturday, May 21- We have arrived in Italy. The airport has armed police standing on platforms above us, just in case of a problem.

At 6pm we met our group and had diner together for the first time.

In the morning we were up at 6:45 and ready to leave by 8:00 after breakfast.

We are off to see the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel and on to St Peters Square. The paintings in the these buildings are spectacular.

At this time, the ceilings were being cleaned for the first time since they were done. Some locals were unhappy with the vibrant colors that came through, but that is the way it was meant to look. Hundreds of years of candle smoke had discolored the ceilings and no one still living remembered what they looked like. It was a surprise that took getting used to for some.

We continued across the Tiber River to see the Roman Forum and the Colosseum, and then over to the Basilica and St. Peters Square.

If you have never seen the history of the construction or the operation of the Colosseum, look it up on the internet and see what it was all about. The top that could be covered with large pieces of cloth to keep the sun out. It was operated over an array of lines like a sailing ships sails. It could also be flooded for mock naval battles.

Read “Grandpa Ernie’s Secrets” if you are interested in Rome. Most of the story takes place there with Ruby, Ernie and Bobby.

I can still see them walking the streets there and meeting with all of the operatives involved in their adventures.