Our first show was off base and we had a few moments to stop and see some sights in Verona. Legend has it that this is the balcony of Romeo and Juliet. On the road we had passed by what is rumoured to be the Montague's castle. As we hurried through the streets of town, we were in awe of the many ancient buildings surrounding us. Our show was once again multi-national with ironically enough - some Turkish soldiers! The American Medley is always a big hit with the troops. They enjoyed the dance contest and our solo numbers. We stop at a local eatery for some late night food and fun.
The next day, we had a few hours in the morning so Barry was our tour guide to Venezia (Venice). Nothing in books or on television can prepare you for the sight of the ancient waterways of streets. The artistry of the buildings is incredible. As we arrive at the Piazza Del Romo we know that tradition says we are to meet pigeons! Taylor and Kimberly are the first to brave the birds and end up with one in their hair and on their back. Joy, Melanie and Mary are giggling along and taking pictures. They decide to be brave and feed the birds too. From there, we move further into the piazzo to enjoy quick shopping and local cuisine - pannini's and ice cream! Alas, our day is short and we are once again on the road back to base.
That night was one of our funnest shows. We performed to a packed house. Many contests kept the audience on their toes. Limbo sure can be fun! The Supremes medley is always a big hit. After the show, we were presented with commemorative photos of the base. While we signed autograph sheets, we had everyone sign our photos. After the show, we enjoyed a little karoake, dancing and darts. Kimberly was able to "kick some butt" because she was taught by the dart champions on a previous tour to Macedonia! Taylor tries on a "10 gallon" for size.
Next stop - La Maddalena! As we arrive we have to take the ferry across to the island of Sardegna (Sardinia). The water is the bluest water we have ever seen. The island is absolutely beautiful. Jackie takes us to our hotel and then for a visit to base for lunch. We meet a few people and encourage them to come out to our show. That night we ask around and find a local eatery that rates high. We are treated to a fantastic dinner and great ambience. Afterwards, we stroll the streets browsing the shop windows. Early the next morning, Kimberly happily gives an interview at the local base radio station. Later, Jackie and our driver take us out to see some of the special sights on the island. We are lucky enough to have the rest of the day off and spend it wisely resting at one of the many beautiful beaches.
Tonight is our show and we are quite excited. We have a good turn out and hear great things about our show. Later that night Jackie introduces us to a local eatery where we have an incredible dinner. We liked it so much, the next night we went back for another dinner. We make friends with some locals and are treated to some local Spumante. The next day comes too early and we are sad to say arrividerci to La Maddalena. Jackie presents us with some gifts to remember the island.
Next we move on to Napoli (Naples) but not before a SEVEN HOUR layover in Roma (Rome). At least we can say we were in Rome for a day! As usual, we make the best of it and sleep wherever and whenever we can. We arrive in Napoli and are met by our base representative, Charlie. He has us laughing and having a good time as soon as we left the airport. Charlie also arranges for us to spend some time in downtown Napoli. Taylor luckily meets up for dinner with Devin, whom she has been dating since she met him in Bahrain last summer. Charlie sends us downtown where we are able to soak up the local culture and also do a little shopping. Joy and Kimberly go to the castle and knock to see if anyone is home. Melanie and Mary wait at the bottom of the hill and think they are nuts! Prince Charming didn't open the door but the man that did gave us historical pamphlets on the castle. Another great evening has come to and end and we head back to Hotel Tennis for a fabulous dinner. Joy has a little trouble adjusting to food with legs!
The next morning we had some time off so we all spent it differently. Taylor shopped with Devin. Melanie, Mary and Joy rested in the sun and shopped. Kimberly decided to experience local culture and took the train to the ancient city of Pompei. The sights there are amazing and breathtaking. Alas, the hour is drawing near for our show in the club. Here we are having fun with the crowd once again. The show is another fun success. Unfortunately, the next day we must leave our Charlie, Devin and Napoli behind.
We are off now to Sicilia (better known as Sicily!) where we are greeted by our contact Michelle. As soon as we arrive, we are taken to the theatre where an audience is waiting for us. We set up and have another blast with our audience of adults and children. After the show, autographs and pictures are taken with our newest friends. We are treated to a dinner out at the local eatery. The next day, we are honored to be asked to speak at the school assemblies. We each speak and then we sing "God Bless The U.S.A." for the crowd. These are what we call part of the perks - speaking to the children and teens. That afternoon we relax and do some much needed laundry. Later that afternoon we head for the town of Taormina. We where told this is supposedly where some scenes from the "Godfather" movie series were shot. The town is atop a hill and no vehicles can go up so we take the bus. Once there we are pleased to see such beautiful sights and many shop-lined streets. Our first stop was a local church that featured ornate beauty inside. One of our first stops was to see the Greek Theatre of Taormina. Once inside, we decided to climb the ruins and have our picture taken - much to the delight of the visiting school children. We walked to the end where a great overhang provided a breathtaking view of the town and water below. A wonderful dinner was the perfect ending to a perfect day - Salut!
That evening, we decide venture into town. We visit downtown where we shop a little and eat at a Chinese restaurant! The lion looks like Mary! Once again, we are packing up and on our way early the next morning. We are sad to say goodbye to our new friends and goodbye to Italy!