Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Travel Tuesday: Mom's 1953 Europe Road Trip - Rome, Day 2

From Mom's Europe trip diary, in the "PLACES VISITED" section: 
September 30, Wednesday – Rome, Italy
After breakfast went by North American College * and picked up ticket for audience with Pope.  We then went to Vatican City -- bought some stamps, saw the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Museums.  Only had about 1.5 hours so quickest trip on record.  Saw St. Peter's (very beautiful inside with many side altars and beautiful ceilings and domes).  Ate lunch at American Catholic Club. ** Came back to hotel and got ready to go to Castel Gandolfo (Pope's summer home).  Rode a city bus out there and saw the Pope.  He spoke in several different languages -- Italian, Spanish, French, English, and German -- but I couldn't understand English because of terrible loudspeaker system.  He gave us a Papal blessing which I hope blessed my crucifix. ***  Came back to Rome on a bus packed like a can of sardines.  Tight squeeze.  Went to opera and saw Cavilleria Rusticana and Pagliacci.  Opera better than Met in that thing weren't so perfect.  Both were wonderful.  The only sour note to me was people on stage were obviously looking at man on box on stage.  Music & voices were good.

* The Pontifical North American College is a Roman Catholic educational institution that opened in 1859 that trains priests, serves as a residence for American priests doing advanced studies in Rome, and (in 1953 and today) provides free tickets for papal audiences and other events.

** The American Catholic Club was originally established in July 1944 by the National Catholic Community Service to provide services for American and Allied soldiers.  It was located on the Via della Conciliazione, just three blocks from St. Peter's Square .

*** According to the Pontifical North American College, Mom's crucifix was blessed, along with any other religious articles she had with her that day.

Here are a couple of photos Mom took at St. Peter's, plus two others of sights she saw that day that were taken in 1961 and 1982 respectively:


St. Peter's Basilica from St. Peter's Square, Rome, Italy, 30 September 1953 / Geraldine Guokas Pape / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
The obelisk in front of St. Peter's Basilica in the photo above is from Egypt (c. 2494 BC – 2345 BC) and was originally moved to Alexandria and then to the Circus of Nero in Rome in the first century AD.  It was moved to its present site in 1586.  Below is a close-up of the entry, with the statue of St. Peter to the left.
Entry to St. Peter's, Rome, Italy, 30 September 1953 / Geraldine Guokas Pape / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Rome - Pietà in St. Peter's [22 February 1961] / Roger Wollstadt / CC BY-SA 2.0
I'm sure Mom saw Michelangelo's Pietà, pictured above.  The Sistine Chapel ceiling probably looked a lot like it does in the photograph below from 1982, just before it was restored.
Vatican City 1982.03.18 [Sistine Chapel, before restoration] / Michael E. Johnston / CC BY-NC 2.0


This is the 54th in a series of posts transcribing entries in my mother's 1953 Europe Trip journal.


© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Mom's 1953 Europe Road Trip: Rome, Day 1

From Mom's Europe trip diary, in the "PLACES VISITED" section: 
September 29, Tuesday – Rome, Italy
After real American breakfast of bacon & eggs and American coffee, walked to Piazza di Spagna via the Spanish Steps to American Express.  Had 2 letters from Daddy* and one from Fred.**  Went shopping and bought 3 silk ties.***  Lunched at American Bar -- had hamburgers, a coke, and apple pie a la mode.  Went on tour of city in afternoon.  Saw St. Mary Major church (beautiful chapel of Borghese), ancient Roman ruins -- supposed chapel of Quo Vadis, the catacombs (very impressive, even saw some with bones still in graves), drove along the Appian Way (just exactly like I pictured it would be) -- the Sacred Stairs (people can walk up them but only on their knees) and the [Arch]Basilica of St. John Lateran (the cathedral of Rome where the Pope is the bishop).  Went back to tie shop after tour and bought more ties.***  Ate supper in Railroad Station restaurant.

* "Daddy" is my maternal grandfather, Charles Peter Guokas Jr.
** "Fred" is my father, Frederick Henry Pape - he and Mom were dating at this time.

*** According to the "PURCHASES" section of the trip diary, my mother purchased a total of seven silk ties at Son Man Arbiter in Rome for a total of 126 lire.

Once again, way more beautiful and interesting sights seen this day than I can possibly post pictures of!  I've included the one Mom took of the Spanish steps, one of the Borghese Chapel she commented on, and a number from the Appian Way and sites along it that she mentioned or might have seen, with many of those photos from 1961.
Spanish Steps, Rome, Italy, 29 September 1953 / Geraldine Guokas Pape / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0



The 135 Spanish Steps, built in 1723-1725, lead from the Piazza di Spagna to the 16h-century Trinità dei Monti church at the top, part of which is visible in Mom's photo above.  Mom mentioned watching the movie Roman Holiday on the ship on the way to Europe, and it has a famous scene filmed here.

The Borghese Chapel of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, pictured below, houses the Salus Populi Romani, a famous icon of the Virgin Mary and baby Christ Jesus.

Capela Borghese, Santa Maria Maggiore, Roma [Borghese Chapel, St. Mary Major, Rome, 2005] / Ricardo André Frantz (User:Tetraktys) / CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL



Rome - Arch of Drusus [24 February 1961] / Roger Wollstadt / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Arch of Drusus (pictured above) is near the beginning of the old Appian Way (Via Appia Antica), next to the Porta San Sebastiano, which is one of the gates in the Aurelian Walls in Rome.  The photo below was likely taken just past this gate, in the first mile of the Via Appia Antica.  The Arch was built of marble sometime prior to 211 A.D. and later had a now-brick-faced aqueduct added to the top.

Rome - Appian Way [24 February 1961] / Roger Wollstadt / CC BY-SA 2.0



Chiesa del Quo Vadis / Achille Pinelli (1809-1841) / Public domain
The Church of Domine Quo Vadisdating from 1637, is in the second mile of the Via Appia Antica.  The church is really named Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Piante, but its common name comes from the legend that St. Peter, while fleeing persecution in Rome, encountered an apparition of Jesus and asked (in Latin), Domine, quo vadis?  which means, "Lord, where are you going?"  I liked the watercolor above, painted  between 1826 and 1835, better than any copyright-friendly image I could find online.

The Tomb of Caecilia Metella (pictured below) is one of the few remaining Roman monuments on the Via Appia Antica. It was built in the first century B.C. She was a patrician woman who was the daughter of one Roman Consul, mother of another, and married to a son of Crassus, one of the (first) triumvirs with Caesar and Pompey.

Rome - Tomb of Cecilia Metella [24 February 1961] / Roger Wollstadt / CC BY-SA 2.0



The section of the Via Appia Antica pictured below may have some of the original paving stones.

Via Appia Antica Rome 2006©Radosław Botev / reuse allowed with proper attribution; see link at Wikimedia Commons


This is the 53rd in a series of posts transcribing entries in my mother's 1953 Europe Trip journal.


© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sentimental Sunday: Mom's 1953 Europe Road Trip - Road to Rome

From Mom's Europe trip diary, in the "PLACES VISITED" section: 
September 28, Monday – Road between Florence and Rome, Italy
Drove to Piazza[le] Michelangelo and saw his statue of David.  Started for Rome -- for a while road mountainous -- then began seeing lots of olive trees (silver leafed with dark bark) and grape trees and vines.  Arrived in Rome around 3:30 and started looking for hotel.*  Went out to eat -- came back to hotel and started checking things I wanted to see.  Stayed in that night to get an early start the next morning.
Piazzale michelangelo (Firenze) [13 March 2008] |  / Francesco Sgroi / CC BY 2.0

According to the "HOTELS STOPPED AT" section of the trip diary, my mother and her friends stayed at the Nord Nuova Roma while they were in Rome, Italy.

If they got to Rome about 3:30 PM, they must have left Florence no later than 10 AM (with an estimated five-and-a-half hours on the road, not including lunch, based on travel time for the map at the bottom of this post).  Therefore, an early morning picture of the David in the Piazzale Michelangelo (a bronze replica of the original) seems fitting.

The photo just below David is of Florence from the Piazzale Michelangelo, which was created in 1869, and provides a panoramic view of the city.  The Duomo and its Campanile are visible, as is the Arno River in the foreground.

Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo [19 February 1961] / Roger Wollstadt / CC BY-SA 2.0
Florence - City Wall and Villas from Piazzale Michelangelo [19 February 1961] / Roger Wollstadt / CC BY-SA 2.0
Untitled [Olive trees, Tuscany, Italy, 31 March 2010] / doris_pemlerCC BY-NC-ND 2.0
The photograph of the olive trees (above) was taken in an area my mother might have passed through en route to Rome.

At left is a map showing a possible route for this day's travels.


This is the 52nd in a series of posts transcribing entries in my mother's 1953 Europe Trip journal.


© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Mom's 1953 Europe Road Trip: Florence

From Mom's Europe trip diary, in the "PLACES VISITED" section: 
September 27, Sunday – Florence, Italy
Attended Mass at Cathedral, a church with a very beautiful façade.  Saw Giotto's Belfry [Campanile] and the East Door on the Baptistery in Square [Piazza del Duomo].  After breakfast we walked to Uffizi Gallery, Signoria Palace [Palazzo Vecchio] and went through them.  Also saw Loggia dei Lanzi - and statues of the Rape of the Sabine and Cellini's Perseus.  From the square we walked across the Vecchio Bridge to the Boboli Gardens where we saw Neptune's fish-pond [Fountain of Neptune].  Came back to Cathedral and looked around some more.

I could fill multiple blog posts with photos of the things my mother saw in Florence!  This post just has two photographs by my mother, and one taken by my husband.
Il Duomo di Firenze / Mark Gresham / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
The Cathedral (pictured at left) is the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore ("Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower"), usually called Il Duomo di Firenze.  It was begun in 1296 but not finished until 1436 with Brunelleschi's famous dome. The exterior is covered with polychrome marble panels in various shades of green and pink bordered by white.

The Ponte Vecchio ("Old Bridge," pictured below) spans the narrowest part of the Arno River in the city.  This version of the bridge dates back to the 14th century.  It is notable for the shops built right on the bridge.  The view below is from the west, probably from the temporary "Bailey bridge" constructed by Allied troops on the surviving piers of the Ponte Santa Trinita (Holy Trinity Bridge) after its destruction by Nazi troops in their August 1944 retreat.  The bridge was rebuilt in 1958.


Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy, 27 September 1953 / Geraldine Guokas Pape / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

The Boboli Gardens, pictured below, are behind the Palazzo Pitti, the palace of the Medici family who ruled Florence during much of the Renaissance.  The statue in the upper center in the photograph below is the Fountain of the Oceans, sculpted by Giambologna.
Boboli Gardens at Pitti Palace in Florence, Italy, 27 September 1953 / Geraldine Guokas Pape /  CC BY-NC-ND 4.0




This is the 51st in a series of posts transcribing entries in my mother's 1953 Europe Trip journal.

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Mom's 1953 Europe Road Trip: More of Italy

From Mom's Europe trip diary, in the "PLACES VISITED" section: 
September 26, Saturday – Road between Venice and Florence, Italy
After breakfast, checked out of hotel and went to garage by gondola.  Got car and started for Florence.  Stopped for lunch at Bologna and had to take a detour through Pistoia and Prato for Florence for some reason.  The policeman and I had no understanding about detour.  Earlier [on September 23] we had to take a detour between Padova [Padua] & Ferrara--was almost out of gas but we made it.  Arrived in Florence & had a hotel room.*  Went to eat at Giovacchino's, had wine which went to my head so fast I gave the fellow 900 lire (about $1.50) too much in tips.  Went to bed after that.

According to the "HOTELS STOPPED AT" section of the trip diary, my mother and her friends stayed at the Hotel Helvetia & Bristol in Florence, Italy.

Here are some things Mom might have seen on this day of travel:
Venice gondola / Mark Gresham / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
In Ferrara (which she likely passed through again this day), she might have seen the Palazzo dei Diamanti (Diamond Palace, in the photo below left), named after the diamond points into which the façade's 8,500 white (with pink veins) marble blocks are cut.  The positioning of the diamonds varies in order to maximize the light reflected off the building.

In Bologna, she couldn't miss the landmark Due Torri (Two Towers, in the photo below right), both of which lean, supposedly built in the 12th century.
Photo above left: Palazzo dei Diamanti [Ferrara, Italy, 3 October 2009] / Irenefinessi / CC-BY-SA-3.0.
Photo above right: Bologne (Italie), les deux tours [ABT 2005] / Patrick Clenet / GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0.

In Pistoia, she might have seen the 
13th century Ospedale del Ceppo, originally a hospital, which has a loggia (exterior corridor) decorated in 1525 with a ceramic glaze frieze by Santi Buglioni, and tondoes by Giovanni della Robbia.  Some of this is pictured below.
Ospedale del Ceppo, Pistoia, Italy [5 December 2007] / Mattana (Own work) / Public domain

In Prato, she likely would have noticed the imposing Castello dell'Imperatore (Emperor's Castle), built in the 13th century for the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II.
Castello dell'Imperatore, Prato, Toscana, Italia [4 July 2013, cropped] / Sansa55 (Own work) / CC-BY-SA-3.0
Here's a possible travel route for this day:





This is the 50th in a series of posts transcribing entries in my mother's 1953 Europe Trip journal.


© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Those Places Thursday: Venice

From Mom's Europe trip diary, in the "PLACES VISITED" section: 
September 25, Friday – Venice, Italy
Day was very cloudy.  Walked up to St. Mark's Square [Piazza San Marco], went inside the church [Basilica di San Marco], saw the clock on the adjoining building [Torre dell'Orologio] strike ten, then went for a walk along waterfront.*  Came back to hotel,** lunched, and then took a boat to the Lido [di Venezia], Venice's summer playground.  Came back to the hotel and had tea.  After supper went to bed.

* This was probably the Zattere, a waterfront promenade next to the Giudecca Canal.

**The Regina Hotel, where Mom and her friends stayed, was located on Venice's Grand Canal:
Gerrie Guokas looking out of the Regina Hotel onto the Grand Canal, Venice, Italy, September 24 or 25, 1953 -
 photo by Joye Murphy or Sylvia John on Gerrie's roll of film






This hotel, a former palace converted into a hotel in 1900, still exists today. It was combined in 1979 with the adjacent former Hotel Europa & Britannia to form the Hotel Europa & Regina:
Hotel Europa & Regina (Venice), [12 December 2011] / Abxbay (Own work) / CC-BY-SA-3.0


The night before, my mother and her friends had taken a gondola ride shortly after they arrived:
Grand Canal from gondola, Venice, Italy, 24 September 1953 / Geraldine Guokas Pape / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0




They'd also walked to St. Mark's Square, which they returned to today, where they heard the Torre dell'Orologio (at left in the photo below) strike ten, and toured St. Mark's Basilica (at right in the photo below):
Venice Scene [in the Piazza San Marco, Torre dell'Orologio at left, Basilica di San Marco on right; 1 July 2007]
Forrestn (Own work) / [Public domain]


The basilica is especially known for the shimmering mosaics of gold glass tesserae covering the ceiling:
St. Mark's Basilica, Venice, detail of its mosaics [2005] / Ricardo André Frantz [Tetraktys] / CC-BY-SA-2.5

The walk along the waterfront was probably on the Zattare, pictured below, along one of the canals:
Venice - Zattare [November 2004] / Nino Barbieri (Own work) / CC-BY-SA-2.5

And Lido might have looked like this, outside the Hotel Excelsior, built in the early 1900s:
Beach cabins in front of Hotel Excelsior (Lido di Venezia) [18 May 2014] / Florian Fuchs/Wikipedia / CC-BY-SA-3.0

This is the 49th in a series of posts transcribing entries in my mother's 1953 Europe Trip journal.


© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

(Not-So-) Wordless Wednesday: Mom's 1953 Europe Road Trip--Milan Masterpiece

From Mom's Europe trip diary, in the "PLACES VISITED" section: 
September 24, Thursday – Road between Milan and Venice, Italy
Left hotel and drove to the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie to see Leonardo da Vinci's "Last Supper" fresco on the wall in the adjoining former monastery.  From Milan we headed for Venice going through Verona and Padova [Padua in English].  At Padova we stopped for a bite - had pizza pie with sardines in it and then went on to Venice.  Parked car at garage and then caught motor ferry to hotel. Venice is high [in prices] but we have a waterfront room and it is really nice.*  After dinner, had wine with it, we took a gondola ride and walked through the square [the Piazza San Marco, St. Mark's Square].


According to the "HOTELS STOPPED AT" section of the trip diary, my mother and her friends stayed at the Regina Hotel in Venice, Italy.


Below is a photo of Santa Maria delle Grazie (Holy Mary of Grace).  The 1460-built convent of the church was bombed in 1943 during World War II, but the wall with da Vinci's Last Supper had been sandbagged and survived the destruction. The painting underwent a restoration in 1947-49 and 1951-54, so Mom may have witnessed some of the latter work.
Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milano [July 2002] / Abelson  / CC-BY-2.5

The Last Supper, by Leonardo da Vinci [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.  This photograph of the artwork was taken sometime before 9 December 2004, but after the 21-year restoration was completed in 1999.
Ponte Scaligero di Verona, [20 July 2011] / Jakub Hałun (Own work) / GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0


Above is a photo of something Mom might have seen in Verona, the Ponte Scaligero (or Ponte Castelvecchio), a fortified bridge over the Adige River constructed in the 1300s that had the world's largest span (48.7 meters) at the time of its construction. The bridge was destroyed by retreating German troops in April 1945 near the end of World War II; however, reconstruction was completed in 1951.

In Padua, Mom probably saw the famous Prato della Valle (pictured below), a large elliptical park in the center of town with a small canal around it that is lined with a total of 78 statues. 
Basilica of Santa Giustina, seen from the Prato della Valle, Pádua, [2005] / Ricardo André Frantz (User:Tetraktys) / CC-BY-SA-2.5, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL


Note the odd detour in the map above of this day's travels, from Padua to Venice. This will be explained in a future trip diary entry. More about the Regina Hotel and Venice in tomorrow's post. 

This is the 48th in a series of posts transcribing entries in my mother's 1953 Europe Trip journal.

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Travel Tuesday: Mom's 1953 Europe Road Trip - Into Italy

From Mom's Europe trip diary, in the "PLACES VISITED" section: 
September 23, Wednesday – Road between St. Moritz, Switzerland, and Milan, Italy
Left hotel on very foggy day.  Went though another pass and then drove across border into Italy.  After all our preparations to hide 10,000 lire notes, they didn't even ask about them.  Went to Lecco where we lunched - had spaghetti.  Then drove on to Milan where we found room to spend night.*  One of immediate things I noticed about Italy was loud horn blowing.  Also narrow streets.  People were not as prosperous as in Switzerland, understandably.
City of Lecco [25 December 2011] / ROFI44WIK (Own work) / CC-BY-SA-3.0

According to the "HOTELS STOPPED AT" section of the trip diary, my mother and her friends stayed at the Albergo Touring Hotel in Milan, Italy. 



At left is a map of today's route. The body of water to the left (with the city of Lecco at the bottom) is Lago di Como (Lake Como).  The photo below shows the city of Lecco and the marina on the lake.  Monte San Martino (mountain) looms over the city.  The building with the tall spire is the Basilica di San Nicolò (Cathedral of Saint Nicholas).

I'll have to ask Mom why they hid the Italian money.



This is the 47th in a series of posts transcribing entries in my mother's 1953 Europe Trip journal.


© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.