Saturday, June 3, 2006

Deathstyles of the Rich and Famous

Originally posted 5/20

Il Cimitèro Monumentale ("Monumental Cemetery)

We only drove by Milan's Monumental Cemetery but didn't have time to stop, so you'll have to go the the link above to see details. "Grand" doesn't even begin to describe the entombment of Milan's most prominent citizens. They have to pay for the privilege of being buried here, and must be sure to book a spot years in advance of their Estimated Time of Departure.

One interesting bit that came up with this item: Arianna says that in Italy, burial in public cemeteries is free. She was a little shocked that dying in the US costs money!

As we drove into Milan, we also passed a very colorful and eye-catching tower. Arianna told us many people are curious about the structure, but it has no significance other than its visual impact.

It’s about a hundred miles from Milan to Genoa

Originally posted 5/22

Along the way we passed one picturesque little town after another. They all seemed to have laundry hanging out the dry and small but healthy rooftop gardens.

Along the way, we crossed the river Po and agricultural country. Lots of rice, wheat, some corn – and for some reason unknown to me, lots of stunningly vivid red poppies growing in patches amidst the crops.

We also saw tiny little strips of grape vines scattered here and there – most likely raising just a small supply of grapes for the farmer’s personal winemaking.

As Genoa came within view, Arianna pointed out a old church on the hill above the sea. She said sailors used to go there to pray for safety on their long and often dangerous voyages. Their wives would also go there to pray for the men's safety. Our bus driver piped up that one could be sure some wives prayed fervently for their husbands NOT to return! No doubt.


Liz just paid me a visit in Moscow today, bringing me her photos and some of Cherri's on 3 DVDs. That's a lot of pictures! It's so nice to have her near-encyclopaedic record of the trip to help tell the story of our trip. I'll be re-posting some of the earlier entries with these pictures over the next few weeks, so please come back to this blog often.