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I'm writing this morning instead of last night because the Philpotts kept us up late playing cards and laughing like crazy. They are such bad influences!

Anyway, this is Lago di Tenno, and the property where my dad was born 100 years ago (in three weeks) and grew up. He was actually born on the grassy area between the pool and the lake. Of course at that time, this was a extremely modest hunting lodge with six bedrooms and a small kitchen area (no pool😆). I have a picture of the original lodge in the book of his life, Through Sacrifice: Freedom. He would have spent his days caring for the sheep and goats, fishing and hunting, and just playing around the lake. Absolutely idyllic. It's easy to understand why he hated the fascists so much when Mussolini came in and decided he wanted the lodge and land for the state. They were forced to sell for nearly nothing, and he moved to Genoa, an industrial city, while my grandmother came to America to see if she could give them a better life there. If you read the book you'll see how crazy it all turned out.

Anyway, one of my greatest hopes was that I could fish on his lake and possibly actually catch a fish. And God blessed my desire with two fish within about twenty minutes! A nice lake perch and a nice alpine trout. The same fish he would have worked to catch to feed the family. Of course I had the benefit of modern equipment, whereas he would have only had a cane pole and worms. While not the biggest fish I've ever gotten, it's truly the prized catch of my life.

But before coming to my ancestral home, we finished touring Venice. Yesterday we did St. Mark's Basilica. It is very imposing and my least favorite church. The pictures are light adjusted, but it is really dark and foreboding. There are virtually no statues. Instead it's emphasis is on tile work. Lots and lots of tile work. Of course Venice is known for it's glass tile that come from Murano, and the Basilica features millions of them. The first image shows the detail of the tiles, which are all less than 1/4" in size. The following pictures and video show the scope of the work on the ceilings and floors.

Something I found very unique is the small statues of the apostles and Christ show fourteen apostles (the picture cut off one of you count them). The one to the right of Christ is absolutely Mary Magdeline, and the last one on the right is Matthias, who replaced Judas Iscariot. First, to have Mary next to Christ is really something, but then to also include Judas in a place of honor in addition to Matthias is also incredible. Anyway, I'll let the bible study folks reading this debate that!

This was truly a great day for me personally. I can't describe how I feel at home here. But today we are off to first visit the small town of Navene, where my father turned down the opportunity to become one of fourteen leaders of the organized Italian partisan movement that boasted tens of thousands of men and women. His focus was always the reinstatement of Trentino as an independent country. See y'all tomorrow.

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