Cassino

After a really good nights sleep, we were up and off this morning ready to head to Pompeii. 

Along the way Roy wanted to know how far Cassino would be off our route and as it was only a 5 minute diversion off the road, we headed for Cassino as our first port of call and it was also a good half way point to stop for a bite to eat.

monastry casino 1  The Monastery at Monte Casino

monastry casino 3 Close up     

It was an impressive sight to see Monte Cassino in the skyline.  After negotiating the streets of Cassino and backing ourselves into a literal very tight corner, where we had assistance from the local Caribineri to extricate ourselves,  we found our way to the War Museum.  Roy went off to see about opening times etc, only to discover that the museum was closed…..BUT they just happened to have a group of Americans due to come through at 2pm so he was welcome to accompany them on their guided tour.  Bernice and Alex decided to stay in the van as they were both nearing the end of their books and they wanted to finish them.

The museum was very unusual.  I had though that it would be a display of the usual war relics and memorabilia.  Instead it was a completely multimedia museum, award winning, the first in Italy and one of the few in Europe.  The museum told the story of Italy very briefly from 1900 to 1944 including participation in the First World War.  Then the history of Italian participation in the Second World War, from 1940 war through to the surrender in 1943.  Then there was a detailed description of the four battles for Cassino with comments from German and American Generals.  Detailed films of the bombing of Monte Cassino and the Monastery.  All of these subjects were presented through sound and light shows with film and still photography and graphic images.  Not at all what was expected.  My impressions were mixed but there were a couple of pieces that created a distinct impression.  The first was that the whole was presented from an Italian perspective (well how unusual you might say) that was completely different from my impression of Cassino, the second was that I was not aware that some 50 plus villages around Cassino and Cassino itself were also heavily bombed on the same dates as the Monastery.  Damage to these villages was extensive ranging from 60% to 93% percent destruction.

Then it was back on the road to Pompeii through Naples.  We were avoiding Naples on the advice of all our travel guide books and also advice from Jackie & Hossain who had recently visited this area.  And on driving through, we could understand why you would not want to stay, it seemed very undesirable to say the least.  So it was off to Pompeii.

vesuvius 1Vesuvius behind Naples

sunset bay of naplesSunset over the bay of Naples

Pompeii it seems, is a suburb of Naples.  We arrived at our camp site and went off to do a little shopping before returning to play cards before dinner.  The Phase 10 rivalry has set in!

Random shots of the day

restaurant across autostradaIn Italy at a number of the rest and refuelling areas on the Autostrada they have identical fuelling and facilities on either side of the road.  But, unlike other countries so far visited, they have the restaurants associated with these facilities shared by being built over the road accessible from both sides.

structure 2A new stadium perhaps? being built alongside the Autostrada

structure

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