Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gaeta~One Last Time and Forever

Can you believe this beach?

While Robert and Laura were in Gaeta they discovered this wonderful place that they knew Jim would love. So Wednesday morning the 6th of January, Robert, Jim and Spencer made the last of four trips over to Gaeta with someone from our family in tow. Rossie had school and the "girls" did one last shopping trip.

If you have been to Europe, you may have noticed that every town needs its little hook. Something unique that is its claim to fame. Often times it has something to do with Christ or his followers and is steeped into the traditions of that little town. Gaeta is no exception.

Can you imagine being home schooled by your parents so you can learn of the history and culture of other countries right there on the spot? What an amazing experience for a fifth grader! Spencer is so blessed! He is about to learn about something very special and unique to Gaeta.

They are about to visit the Sanctuario Montagna Spaccata
AKA The Sanctuary of Split Mountain

The legend has it that the moment that Christ died on the cross the mountain split in three places. They refer you to Matthew 27:51 for this event. One of the crevices is too small and dangerous for you to walk into but the other two allow you to walk down near the sea. As you enter into the building you see some beautiful mosaics representing the Stations of the Cross. Jim took a photo of this one.

You can then proceed to the stairways
leading down into the crevices.

On the right as you descend the stairs you will see a large hand print with a sign underneath. According to the legend, a Turk, who did not believe that the rock had split at the death of Jesus, touched the rock and said, "If this is true, then let this rock become liquid." As he spoke, the rock liquefied and gave way to the imprint of his hand.

Here is Spencer putting his hand in the hand print
as visitors do as they pass by.

Looking straight down to the water
from the end of the stairway.
See Spencer's shoe?
What a field trip, huh?


My knees are thankful that we went elsewhere for the day but I am thrilled to have these photos as I know how much fun this was for Jim, Robert and Spencer. While in Gaeta Jim did something really sweet. I was sorry to not have been there for this.

Have you heard of the Love Locks of Italy??

People that are in love buy these locks all over Italy
and they come with two keys.

In their travels they find a special place and
Lock them to something near the water,
symbolizing that their love is forever and
they throw the keys into the sea.

Isn't that sweet?

We had planned to do this in Cinque Terra but the time and weather did not permit. I am actually glad as Gaeta was where we went on our romantic get away so it is a special place for the two of us.

Jim throwing away the keys!
I guess he's gonna keep me!

There are places near the shores where we have seen hundreds of them locked in the same place. The above photo is Cinque Terra. Since I wasn't in Gaeta with Jim this time, he took a picture of our lone little lock for me. I think we need to start this tradition in San Francisco and Sausalito.

Or any romantic place that people in love
spend some time together for that matter.
Are you game?


LA Adams said...

Fantastic photos!!!!!! You're right we need field trips exactly like this one. When you pointed out his shoe my heart dropped a little - glad I wasn't watching kids here.
I love the love locks - very fun!

Marie said...

Loved this Bonnie. What a fabulous field trip and place to visit. You have described it so wonderfully to us. I enjoyed every word and picture. I love the idea of those love locks as well. What a wonderful tradition!!! xxoo

Caroline Craven said...

Okay, the locks of love could easily become the tradition of any family, Italian or not, right? We're not one iota Italian but I would love to adopt this and I think I'm going to start this Valentine's Day. Now, since I don't live near the sea that presents a problem. But I do live in the mountains, by Bear Lake and the Great Salt Lake - much less romantic so maybe this warrants a trip to Hawaii or something! Where to put my lock, hum, I'll have to think about that one.

Faye said...

Very cool tradition. It would be fun to re-trace your steps to all the places you loved and leave your lock. In a perfect world I would do just that :)