Antonio Sansone, Tony’s great uncle, took a train from his home in Naples to visit the group in Rome. He was joined by cousin Carmine Leta who works in Rome as a freelance photographer. They spent the day touring through Rome with the McNicholas group, taking them to an Italian church, to a monument called Il Vittoriano which was built under Mussolini and now contains a history museum, and to the Capuchin Crypt, where the Capuchin monks’ bones are arranged into patterns and piles.
The best part of the day “was getting to walk the streets of Rome with my uncle, who I haven’t seen in years,” Tony said.
Other students on the trip also enjoyed meeting Sansone and Carmine. The Losekamps felt lucky to be able to reunite with their relatives while on the trip. “It was very emotional to see him after ten years and it felt like you’d never left,” Bill said.
Junior Lily Motz said, “I loved the trip. It was the highlight of the summer and I would definitely do it again.” Motz added that Sansone and Carmine were helpful because they were able to translate the Italian.
The Losekamp relatives, on Mrs. Becky Losekamp’s side of the family, had come to the United States about 14 years ago for a family event and four years later the Losekamps went to Italy for a birthday and family wedding. Becky’s Italian father originally came to the United States through Ellis Island sometime around 1951, and worked as a tailor. Bill mentioned that this was possibly the last chance they would have to see Sansone.
After the tour with Sansone, the McNicholas group continued on to Florence. From there they went to Paris then London. Some of the sights that they saw included the Vatican, the Roman Forum, the Coliseum, the Louvre, Versailles, a Seine River boat ride, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, and a ride in the London Eye.
The trip was so memorable for Tony and Bill that Tony said, “It was life changing.”