60 Years Ago Today

Wednesday, 2 July 1952:

I took my bag down to breakfast. Herr Rogers called me down for not bringing it sooner. I was too late! The bus was all packed. After breakfast, I carried my own bag to the bus and with Mrs. Hansen’s help I put it on the top myself. I had Andre check the strap for me though.

Soon we were off for Assisi! Evidently we have to go back through Naples. While there we stopped at the hotel to pick up some stuff the kids had left. Then we raided a fruit shop and got back on the road to Rome via Cassino. It seems all roads to Rome must be tree lined.

Cassino was at one time the most bombed out place of World War II. Germans used Cassino as a stronghold and Americans finally had to bomb them out. Herr Watkins fought here. The most bitter fighting in Italy took place here and it became a no man’s land for a while.Since then it has been reconstructed. A documentary movie, San Pietro, was filmed in the area in 1945.

Then as we left Cassino we passed a former town on a hillside that was completely in ruins. A new town had been built below. We had lunch on the road. In Rome we stopped back to pick up Betty’s coat and get a drink of water in the public horse trough. We passed several monuments and huge buildings that I didn’t see when we were here before. We saw the Etruscan Capitaline Wolf statue from the 5th century, who had rescued Remus and Romulus, Rome’s mythological twin founders, from death.

I observed the big stadium and the Tiber River which was a beautiful green. Some of the scenery looked a lot like Utah. One section of land had sugar cane or something that looked like it. Today was kind of a lost day. It was really hot and Bev had heat exhaustion or something of the sort. I missed the scenery for some well needed napping and writing.

Our next rest stop was at Turin. I snapped a picture of oxen and a man with a donkey cart who posed for us. By the time we left there was a huge crowd around the bus. Dusk was coming on as we met the hilly and windy roads. We caught sight of the Assisi Arched Gateway like in the picture shots we saw in Italy.

We stopped to stay at a beautiful hotel where the section we were in was probably once an old monastery. I talked to a girl from Nebraska and found a little book about Assisi for 250 lire. Then we ate dinner at a restaurant down a little street from the hotel.

Soon after it was time for bed. My only mistake was laying down on the bed before getting undressed. At 3:30 a.m., I finally got undressed and climbed under the covers.

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