Posts Tagged ‘Phil Banks’

Two weeks ago we left Foggia and arrived here (Anzio) two days later.  we travelled via Naples but as it was night time when we passed through the city I couldn’t see very much.  I said goodbye to Nino now and his family the night before we left . ‘Bona Fortuna’ was wished upon a many times as we sat and drank much wine. Phil Banks and I have got his address and intend to write to him after the war.  When we rose to leave them we parted in the typical Latin manner by handshakes and kissing each other on the cheeks.  Good look Nino and your family. Italy needs men like you after the war.

Since arriving here we have had one or two raids and one very narrow escape when a very heavy bomb burst a few yards away causing a few casualties and damage to vehicles.

Two days ago I spent a never to be forgotten day in Rome. Rome really and truly is a beautiful city and had it been destroyed by war it would have been a great loss. I visited quite a few famous places but one day isn’t much in which to see Rome. I am hoping to go again in the near future.  I entered Rome along the famous Appian Way along which Caesar must have travelled many times.  On each side of the road were ancient tombs and monuments all carved in figures and pictures. I entered Rome by one of the old gateways in the great wall surrounding the city.  I passed down lovely avenues of trees and ancient monuments and statues. First stop was the great Colloseum an ancient relic of pagan Rome of olden days.  The inside has partly crumbled but the great terracing and arena is still a there.  Right in the centre of the city is the modern buildings and monument to Victoria Emmanuel the second. This is magnificent very high and built of pure white stone with gold colours and bronze statues and carvings.  On the very top are mounted two imposing statues in bronze representing chariots drawn by horses.

Saint Peter’s church was the most inspiring of them all. The nave, which is the longest in the world,  is beautifully decorated.  The walls are of the finest marble and the pictures are all composed of fine pieces of mosaic.  The statues and carvings are too beautiful to describe. The high altar is superb and underneath is Saint Peter’s tomb  decorated in gold and bronze and continuously lit up.  A great high canopy mounted on four solid bronze pillars covers the tomb and altar.  Each of the pillars weighs five tons and the nave holds 35,000 people.  I went up into the great dome and after climbing endless steps reached the bronze bull on the pinnacle.  From here I could look down on the Vatican City and survey the wonderful panorama of Rome.  Perhaps I shall see more of it soon.


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Still here in Foggia and more fed up than ever of this very static existence, the only ray of sunshine is the many happy hours I am spending just now with the family of the Sicilian whom I have known for some time now.  I have just spent a very pleasant weekend with them and being with them has made me feel more cheery although at the same time more homesick.  His name is Nino Gitto. Peter and I intend to write to him after the war. His wife is very charming and works very hard besides looking after their three children. Yesterday Phil Banks  and I visited the house of Nino’s sister to repair their radiogram and fortunately it turned out to be a very simple job.  There were four of us in the party Nino, Salvatore his brother Phil and myself.  We rode all the way in Nino’s horse drawn cab and it was a very pleasant ride too down the Bari road to Foggia.  Of course we were drinking vino and some spirit all the time. Back at Nino’s house in the evening we had a good chat and drank lots of wine until we were all quite merry. My Italian is coming on quite well and I can easily make myself understood as well as understanding what they say.  Yes they are a real good family and I simply love their three children Maria aged seven, Guiseppi  aged five and little Helena aged three.

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