From Belluno we took three buses (four if you count the one from the AV1 terminus to Belluno) and a train in order to get back to our vehicle at Lago de Braies. This was not as much of a goat rope as it sounds but was rather conveniently orchestrated; plus we got to poke around Cortina for a couple of hours. After another couple of days exploring the mountains, we headed southeast to the Veneto Plain and my second- and third-grade home near Aviano.
My mom had given me the address; good thing because hardly anything looked familiar. What did look familiar was, no surprise, smaller than my 8-year-old brain had registered. Oddly, the house seemed larger and had hardly changed at all save for the satellite dish. (In contrast, without a dish we had one or two shows in English so didn't get to watch much TV.) The house is in the village of Marsure, only a couple of miles from Aviano. We had the first floor; another USAF family lived above us. (I still exchange Christmas cards with one of the daughters!) Aviano AFB had housing only for single servicemen, so all families lived off base; however, we did attend the American school on base.Hoping for a tour, I knocked on the door but no one was home. The house has amazing marble floors that I'd hoped to see again. Aviano is situated where the Dolomites meet the plain. The mountains begin behind the house! (Photo below) Other than driving through them, my family didn't do much in the mountains. Rather, we spent many, many weekends either at a beach called Bibione or in Venice. I especially remember feeding the pigeons in St. Mark's Square. :)
Just down the road from our old house is a little 15th (?) century church. We used to ride our bikes down there all the time--my first taste of freedom... very happy memories. The church was open and I took a bunch of photos of the mostly simple but beautiful artwork inside. I couldn't pick just one or two photos to post, so here are most of them, starting with the ceiling:
This one is my favorite: