Wednesday, June 5, 2013

In the Villages

Yesterday was a big adventure. Read my dad's great detailed explanation of the craziness at We started by shopping and going through St. mark’s. It was beautiful, of course. Then my dad, mom and I went through the Duke’s Palace right next to St. Mark’s Cathedral. It was really interesting. We got an audio guide, which always makes things better. The most interesting part was the prisons in the basement of the palace. It was a little eerie walking through this maze of cells where prisoners were held and according to the audio guide, treated inhumane. At one point I got separated from everyone else who was walking through the prisons. So there I was alone in the dark scary prisons. It was way creepy so I booked it through until I found strangers to walk behind. But that thing is never ending! After the palace my mom, dad, and I took a Gondola ride! It was incredible! Our “driver” sang in Italian to us and told us history of the town as we went (we couldn’t really understand him though, I think it was half in Italian). I can’t believe I was on a gondola in Venice! We took the water bus from Venice to the airport so that we could pick up the rental car so we could drive to the villages where we are doing family history work. It took my mom and dad about two hours to get the rental car because of a whole mishap, but finally we were on our way to Belluno. I couldn’t believe I was on my way to Belluno, the place I have always told people that that is where my Italian relatives come from (I always pronounced it Bellun(e) though), I was actually going there! It isn’t just a place in northern Italy that is too small for anyone to have heard of anymore. The drive was incredible. The Italian countryside is just what I would have imagined plus even more beautiful; grapevines everywhere, stucco houses with multicolored roofs, lush green farms as far as the eye can see, but the thing that made me so awestruck was that at the end of these beautiful green farms there are skyscraper mountains, The Dolomites. Wow. I thought Utah had incredible mountains, and while we do, The Dolomites put Utah to shame. They are huge and so green and just indescribable. There was even a mist at the top of them when we were driving through them, I mean-it couldn’t have looked more gorgeous and mystical. After the craziness of going from hotel to hotel trying to find a place to stay (we didn’t book a hotel beforehand on purpose because we didn’t know when we were going) and not getting any luck at a few, we finally found a place to sleep. We hadn’t had dinner and at ten at night the sweet people at the hotel made us a delicious meal. This whole trip I have thought that most Italians are just grumpy and rude (based on experience), but if you want to find the nicest people in the world go to the tiny towns/villages in northern Italy. They are so kind here.
Today was so so SO cool. This morning we met up with our genealogist, Joel, at the church in Santa Giustina where my great, great grandparents; Luigi Dezanet and Giulia Pagnussat were married. It was so incredible to walk where my grandparents walked down the isle on their wedding day. The church was gorgeous. We went next door to where the priest lives and went through old church records. The books looked like they would fall apart, they were so cool and old. Joel confirmed a couple things on our pedigree chart through the books. My dad was worried that we would have success finding ancestor’s names today, but we were blessed to find a ton. After Sana Guistina, we headed to a really cool looking, old cemetery that had the backs cape of the dolomites and many headstones with our family name, DeZanet on them. Then we went to Sospirollo (another tiny town near Santa Giustina, where  Tranquillo Dezanet ( we call him Papa), my great grandfather was born. We went to the church where he was baptized in the catholic church. Then we went to lunch and I peed on my foot because I’m out of practice with squatter toilets..oh wait, I’ve never used one until today. Then we went to another church and while I passed out (I had to take a Benadryl for my allergies and It knocked me out), the rest of the family and Joel went through old Catholic records with the priest and found tons of our ancestors names and birthdates etc. Tonight we did laundry, tried to give an Italian directions by pantomiming, and went to dinner. I guess the town we are staying in, Feltre, doesn’t see many Americans. Everyone was staring at us. Actually, I should say they were shamelessly staring at us. Maybe it isn’t rude here to stare? One woman would not stop. I tried to stare back, but I couldn’t do it. Tomorrow we are meeting at 8:30 to do some more genealogy. I cannot wait to get my fingers on those old books! 
Grandma doing her

The Duke's Palace in St. Mark's Square.

The Palace.

The Golden Staircase in the Palace.

View of Venice from the Palace.

View from the Palace.

Another view from the Palace.

A prison cel in the Palace.

Waiting at the airport for the rental car.

I couldn't believe my eyes!

View on the drive through the countryside.

The church in Santa Giustina.

Grandma where her grandparents were married.

Joel and my dad looking through archives.

Old pictures from when family came to visit Italy
35 years ago.

The church in Santa Giustina standing where her grandparents
walked down the isle.

The church in Sospirolo.

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