Jiaqi in Italy: Field Trip Edition – The Lombardia Full of Natural Charm
After the first three days of orientation, IES program has arranged a retreat for us to Sirmione and Lake Garda, architectural and natural gems in northern Italy. Here are some snaps of this amazing trip.
In the great town of Sirmione, history is embedded in every intricately shaped stone that we roamed through. This great castle at the entrance of Sirmione was built during 12-13 century as a fortification against enemies from both outside and inside. Our director Roberto made an insightful point — many Italian castles are facing to the inner city since most of the times the enemies come from inside the country.
Grotte di Catullo is a Roman villa built during the Augustan period. Pieces and fragments of the wall paintings and archeological treasures are displayed in the museum now. Walking along the Roman ruins, one can still feel the past grandeur while immersing in the fresh air from the surrounding lake.
The Roman villa is probably the best point to have a panoramic view of Lake Garda. We held our breath, admiring the view of the turquoise blue lake and the architectural wonder at the same time.
On the second day of our retreat, we visited the Parco Giardino Sigurtà, probably the most picturesque botanical garden in Italy. Located above the surrounding historic towns, the park offers a fresh bird’s-eye view of the beautiful northern Italian countryside.
Italian gardens are delicately designed and carefully maintained. Unlike the rustic feel of English gardens, this northern Italian garden is incredibly elegant and polished. Every detail of the pond and forest hills show the efforts of human touch.
My new friends, Fonnon from Nigeria and Zdenek from Czech Republic, were wonderful companions during the trip.
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