Friday, January 20, 2012

WWII Museum.

Cody and the boys took an ITT trip last weekend.  Since I had surgery Jan 4th, I'm not able to do much of anything so he and the boys took off and me and Norah had a girls day.  She and I watched Princess movies and played with baby dolls.

The ITT Trip this time was described as follows:

WWII Tour (Part 1)
Saturday, January 14th
Tour the WWII Museum and German Cemetery and learn about "Operasione Husky."  Then we will go to Marchesana in the center of Catania just behind Palazo Biscari, which was the "General Quarter" of the Allies after the invasion of Sicily.  (Lunch and fees are included).

Score!  Lunch included!  Easy peasey.

The boys set off on their adventure early on Saturday morning at 8am.  The tour was full and included one of Ethan's teachers and a counselor.

The first stop on the tour was the German cemetery near Motta.

Here is a beautiful photo of Mt. Etna.

The next stop on the tour was a WWII museum in Catania.  The museum was, in the words of Gavin, "Awesome!" They did not allow photos in the museum, but Gavin snapped a couple before being told otherwise; however I can't seem to locate them on my computer right now.  If I find them, I'll update them on here.

Cannon outside of the museum.

Taken before they were told not to take photos.

Next to the museum was a radio collection.  A man had his private radio collection open for viewing and the boys enjoyed seeing the old-fashioned radios.

They boarded the bus and headed to the Restaurant to eat lunch.  Gavin was starving!  They were all so hungry that they forgot to take pictures of their meals (I had asked them to do it before the left and they even told themselves to remember before they went in, but were just so hungry they forgot).

The choices were beef, horse or one other thing that they weren't sure what it was.  They all went with beef. You know if I were there, I'd tried the horse.  (I think).  They had bread and pasta.  Gavin was so hungry he ate his entire serving of beef!  For desert were oranges and Cody had a lemoncello.
The name of the restaurant.   I think Marchesana is a family name and "trattoria" is translated as either Tavern or Inn. 

Gavin showing that he ate all of his beef.  You can see some of Cody's beef left on his plate.  Gavin left the salad alone.  

My boys 

Cody's lemoncello

Cody enjoying his lemoncello
 After lunch the next stop was a British cemetery.  Gavin was fascinated by all of the headstones and took many, many pictures

Overall the boys and Cody really enjoyed their trip.  They learned a lot about the Allies here in Sicily during WWII.  They are scheduled to go on another trip later this month that is Part 2 of this one.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Some Random Photos from Catania

I have a few photos I wanted to share that I didn't add in my last post from Catania.  

The Roman Ruins in Catania

Similar to the Roman Colosseum

Here we are at the ruins of the Greek theater in Catania

Me, Norah and Gavin

Saw these two watching the swimming races.  They were so cute looking out there.

Some of the crowd watching the swimming on New Year's Eve
Cody thought the guy with the dog looked like a Mafia.

A random doorway.

An interesting building.  I took this from the bus.

Catania and Acitrezza ITT Trip (12-31-11)

Saturday, December 31st was our final ITT trip for December and for the year.  The name that they gave it was "Catania History and "Ciao" 2011"

Learn the fascinating history of this resilient town and its ability to overcome multiple disasters.  Visit the cathedral, Elephant Square, the fish market, and the Roman Amphitheater.  Have a snack or some typical Sicilian fast food.  Then we'll tour the coast, seeing San Giovanni Li Cuti, Acicastello and Acitrezza.  Weather permitting, watch the "San Silvestro a Mare", a swimming competition, and the inauguration of the New Year!

This trip was close to home and was inexpensive so we signed up.  The bus arrived on-time!  What?  That was a huge surprise.  However, the driver was apparently new because he kept grinding gears, making short stops and running over curbs.

On our drive to Catania (which is not very far) our tour guide Salvo (I think that must be a common Italian name) told us about the volcano eruption and lava that nearly destroyed all of Catania.  He gave us a lot of history about the various people that have taken over Sicily.  Greeks, Romans, Normans, Spaniards, Arabs; it seems that Sicily is a most desirable island.  I only heard part of what he said because Norah was in a cranky mood and was whining and generally making a lot of noise.

We arrived to Catania and walked to Elephant Square.  I finally got to see this place.  I'd heard of it forever, but never figured out how to get there (and still don't know how we got there).

Salvo walked fast.  He kept us moving and unfortunately we were nearly always bringing up the rear.    We traipsed all over Catania, seeing interesting architecture and hearing the history.

 Some how we ended back up to where we started from at Elephant Square and went into a bar and got some snacks.  We picked up personal sized pizzas (these were the perfect size to hold in your hand and had a cute little name like pizzarini or something similar that I can't remember right now).  They had cheese and sauce, but not a lot.  I cannot believe I forgot to take a picture of them!  They were yummy though and inexpensive.

On the inside of the Cathedral.  
Painting inside the Cathedral

The body cardinal Giuseppe Benedetto Dusmet

Getting ready for service

Outside (It's either Peter or Paul) 

Then we went back to the bus.  I was so tired.  We drove up the road a little bit to a Marina and watched some of the San Sivestro a Mare (New Years Eve at the Sea)  "It's a tradition where people plunge into the cold waters of Ognina port in Catania."  

You can see how cold it was with everyone in coats and hats.

Some of the men.  

Some of the ladies.

More men...they love Speedos in Europe!

A boat along the sidelines

We took a short ride up the coast to Acitrezza.  We of course parked the bus and then walked into town.  It is beautiful by the coast.  There are three islands there that are from the "The Odyssey".  They are legend to be the stones thrown at Odysseus by the Cyclops.


Norah and Cody

The boys

It is really beautiful there.  We were left in the town for a couple of hours to eat our lunch.  We choose a restaurant that served seafood.  I really need to remember to write down the names of restaurants or at least take a picture of the outside.

The kids each had spaghetti with tomato sauce (pomodoro), I had seafood salad (insalata de frutti de mare)  and Cody had Spaghetti scampi.  The kids loved their spaghetti.  I liked my seafood salad (though I couldn't finish it all...sometimes those creatures are a bit chewy and Cody liked his okay.  It wasn't quite what he expected.)

Norah loves bread, but just the inside soft part.

Cody's Spaghetti Scampi.  It had claws!  It tasted good though.

My seafood salad.  It really was tasty.  

Gavin loving his spaghetti!

After we ate, Cody and the kids walked around to see the boats and water.  I sat on some steps and then next to the water.  I was really tired.

We met back up with Salvo and the rest of our tour group and make the long trek back to the bus.  We made it home all in one piece.