LAKE OF GARDA
Tuesday is Liberation Day in Italy to celebrate the end of World War II and their freedom from a fascist government. There was no school, so we got up early to head to Desenzano to visit the Lake of Garda. Unfortunately, it was a very cloudy day and didn’t have the best views of the lake. First, we decided to look through all of the outdoor markets. The markets were set up because it was Liberation Day. They were very crowded. Cinzia, Chiara, and I got tired of the crowd and settled down on a bench to enjoy some gelato.
We met back up with the group and headed to a Roman Villa. I didn’t think it would be very cool, but it ended up being very interesting. Luckily, there was a high school student there that was giving tours to practice the different languages she was learning, so we got the tour in English. The tour highlighted the remains of a Roman villa that archaeologists discovered in the area. They have been able to save a good portion of the floors, which are decorated in very intricate colorful mosaics.
We got lunch at a restaurant, and I enjoyed some good Italian ravioli and focaccia. After lunch, we decided to get gelato (it was only my second time of the day!). But I can’t say no to stracciatella gelato.
We took our gelato out on the pier to enjoy the lake.
After, we went to the center plazza to watch the Liberation Day ceremony. They raised the Italian flag while they played their national anthem. Then we went into the Castello di Desenzano. It was a Roman castle built to protect citizens from barbarian invasions. We got to see some views of Desenzano at the top.
On Wednesday, we went on a field trip with some first year students at the high school. In their Italian classes, they had been researching different buildings in Turin. At each important building, a student would come to the front of the group and give a short presentation about it. After this, we were supposed to visit some gardens and eat lunch there, but since it was raining we cancelled that part of the trip. Instead, we just walked around the city for a couple of hours. We found a restaurant that had focaccia of course. The piece I got had zucchini and bacon and was so good! We then went in some shops and found gelato.
Later in the afternoon, we met back up with the group to go in the Egyptian museum. It is a well known museum because it is dedicated to only Egyptian artifacts. We had an audio tour guide so that we could listen in English. We learned a little bit about how the mummies were made and buried and the artifacts that they would be buried with.
After the museum, we went to the Royal Church of San Lorenzo. The church is smaller than the others we had been in but just as beautiful. This church was special though because they have a shroud that is thought to be the shroud of Jesus. A shroud is the fabric that a body would be laid in after death. A copy of this shroud is on display, and they only get out the original for special occasions. We picked up a pamphlet explaining the history behind the shroud and why it is believed to be the shroud of Jesus. It was very interesting to read about. After leaving the church, we met back up with the group and took a bus back to Piacenza.
Overall, Lake of Garda and Turin and rich history, unique sites, and good food! Ciao!