Not all treasures are from our ancestors, grandparents, parents, and other family members. Some are treasures from our own lives. Two such treasures for me are a couple of letters that I wrote to my dad in 1969 (I was 14) when my mom and I visited her sister Catherine in Rome, Italy, where she was living and working for the State Department. I had forgotten that I wrote some letters to my dad while we were there, much less that he saved a couple. These were in a box my sisters found recently in our mom's closet. The one below made me laugh.
Italy through the eyes of a 14 year old American girl:
June 26, 1969
I am having so much fun! Aunt Catherine's apartment is so cute and neat. It has a terrific view. The view is like looking at an old Italian movie.
We had a good flight over. We stopped in Paris for 30 minutes and also posted [sic] over Switzerland. Aunt Catherine met us at the airport in Rome. It was really an hour's drive from Rome. We rode to town in her little sports car with the top down. She showed some interesting spots going threw [sic] town.
The Italians are terrible drivers. They park anywhere they want to, all over the sidewalks. All of the cars are small, and there are a lot of motor-bikes.
For supper the first night we walked to a sidewalk café and had a huge helping of spagettee [sic].
The next day we went to the Pantheon but [it] was closed so were all of the museums [and] things that belonged to the state, or whatever. The workers were on strike. We went to the Embassy and Aunt Catherine showed us around. We met a bunch of people, plus her friend Gladys, who is very attractive. She [Aunt Catherine] showed us her office. It's huge! It also has a big chandelier (don't know how to spell). The Embassy used to be a palace. We saw the ambassador's office. It was beautiful and about as large as the old First National Bank [in Valdosta].
Next we went to the old Roman capital and saw a million busts and statues of people. I would have taken some pictures but Mama forgot to get me some flash cubes. I got a few post cards instead. I took a picture of a huge statue with Mama and Aunt Catherine in front of it and 2 centurians (half man & half horse). We then went to a sort of balcony & had a great view of the ruins of the old Roman forum. I took a picture of that. Three pictures because it was so big.
We went to a garden that belonged to a church, and had a picnic. We went to a monastary [sic] and peeked in the key hole of the gate.
We went back to the apartment to rest. Then we went to St. Peter's Cathedral. It was the most beautiful building I have ever seen. It is the largest in the world. I didn't have flash cubes so I couldn't take pictures inside, but I took a few outside.
For supper we went to another sidewalk café, but it was so chilly so we ate inside.
There are a million boys here. When I walk by they say something to me in Italian.
Today we drove to Naples and are staying at the Hotel Royal. We messed around part of the town. We went and had pizza for supper. The elevator boys and door men are real talkative and nice. A few speak English. Tomorrow we're going to the island of Capri. I might have some sandals made.
Everybody's asleep but me, so good-night.
P.S. Hope you could read this letter. It's sloppy.
Reading this letter sure brought back memories. I need to dig out the photos that I took. I loved Italy, and the Italian "boys!" The road we traveled on from the airport to Rome was the Via Veneto. I had just learned about it in the Latin class I took that previous school year and could not believe I was actually on it!
I would love to go to Italy again!