Sunday, July 29, 2012

A day at the Italian beach

Reliving 19 July

Today we had a little change of pace from the busy daily schedule.  It was a day off from mandatory group stuff, but there was an optional day trip to the city of Bracchiano, about an hour's train ride north of Rome.  It is a medieval city with a castle overlooking the big lake of Sabatino.

So I went along with most of the class to enjoy a day outside of Rome and in the water.  We got there at about 11 and all went our separate ways in small groups.  I went with my buddies Clark and Stephen, two upstanding gents from the diocese of Houston, to walk around the old part of town and take some pics.

The castle here in Bracchiano is one of the most famous examples of Renaissance military architecture
The streets are quaint.  Cobblestone streets everywhere.

This car almost ran us over as we walked out onto this "street".  Apparently this car believes it's a street.  How do they turn around anyway?

See?  Walkable.  Not drivable.

The cathedral of Bracchiano
For lunch we checked out a small pizzeria just adjacent to the main piazza.  It was the equivalent of $1 a slice, I got two pieces and a beer for 3,20 .  The pizza in Italy does not use a lot of sauce.  I don't know the name of the tomatoes they used (they probably have every kind known to man), if I saw them in America I would call them grape tomatoes.  They just slice them in half and cook 'em on the pizza with fresh mozzarella and whatever else is the ingredient of the day.  Right now I think it's the season for basil.

After lunch we took the long hike down the hill to the lake.  The water was fresh and cool, a MUCH NEEDED break from the continuous puddles of sweat that I've been leaving all over Rome.  The only less-than-stellar aspect was the rocky, dirty sand beach.  Lake Michigan is a real spoiler it turns out.  In the water the bottom was all rocks, making it hard to walk in the shallow parts!

Volcanic lake of Sabatino.  Below kinda to the right you can see an orchard (?) of olive trees growing.  These of course are everywhere in Italy.  Also known as the first Olive Garden.  *fist pump* Yes.  Can't take credit for that joke tho.

No Grand Haven or Sleeping Bear Dunes.  But I will take "Cool Water" for 200, Alex.

Nevertheless, I can't really complain, it was a nice afternoon of relaxing and spending some time with my classmates.  I even took an hour nap under the shade of a tree after getting tired out from swimming.  Got back this evening and chilled out, finished organizing the room and getting rid of trash.  I'll have another load arriving by the time I get back from Assisi next month, so I better enjoy my clean bedroom while I can!

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