Field Trip Edition – The Lombardia Full of Natural Charm

Jiaqi Luo
September 29, 2015
With friends in park

After the first three days of orientation, IES Abroad 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. My new friends, Fonnon from Nigeria and Zdenek from Czech Republic, were wonderful companions during the 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 the 12th-13th century as a fortification against enemies from both outside and inside. Our director Roberto made an insightful point—many Italian castles are facing the inner city since most of the time 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.

Jiaqi Luo

<p>Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Spanish, English and currently perfecting her Italian, it&#39;s clear why Jiaqi chooses her next adventure in the dynamic capital of Milan! An art lover and a free spirit, Jiaqi is now majoring in Art History and Latin American Studies at the University of Richmond. During high school, a month of staying with a host family in Helsinki, Finland opened the doors to a world of exotic saunas, lake kayaking, and inspired her wanderlust. A self-proclaimed travel sensualist, her favorite way of seeing the world is experiencing the culture through its people: she&#39;s volunteered in rural Nepal, conducted Holocaust research in Poland, and has lived with seniors in Spain.</p>

2015 Fall
Home University:
University of Richmond
Art History
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