Pasquetta in Campagna

26. března 2008 v 16:24
Pasquetta-that's how Italians call the Easter monday. It seemed almost like a miracle to me that it wasn't raining (considering the fact that it had been raining previus 5 days). So we met early in the morning (11.30am:) to make a trip to Tivoli. It's a beautiful town 30 km from Rome, we have already been there but we still haven't seen the most important and the nicest points of it- Villa d'Este and Villa Gregoriana.
My friend Steffi from Germany came to visit me here in Rome. We shared a flat back in Perugia and so looking at the hills around Tivoli was like refreshing the memories from Umbria which is practically made of hills. Autobus climbed slowly up and up to show us an impressive view:
Villa d'Este is an ancient mansion- in the times on its glory and shining (renessaince) it was a seat of rich roman dynasties, a summer house when the heat of the city started to be unbearable- there was a fresh breeze on the hill. (In fact, on this very particular easter day it was a chilly wind:)
The gardens of the villa were completely rebuilt in the beginning of 20th century- and as one of the wonders of garden architecture they served as an example for many modern age gardens. Complicated and elaborated fountain system, ancient statues, roses, tulips and many differenent plants and trees, labyrint ot beauty worth getting lost in.
Oh yes, it felt like walking to the past, with the handsome lords and ladies in colourful dresses...
Thirty fountains in the row were forming a strong wall, all the faces almost the same but stilll so different:
... and then Steffi's face:)
Moving slowly across the town to find our second destination we couldn't resist a cute coffee place on the corner.
After ten minutes of walking we found ourselves in front of the entrance to Villa Gregoriana (one of UNESCO- protected natural reservations). You have no choice but to walk down and up and down and up up up… the pain and walking in the mud and ending up dirty and wet was worth it. The view from almost every point or the park is astonishing- pure nature in its wildness and beauty.
One thing is artificial though. The more than 300 meters high waterfall created as a protection against regular floods. Grande Cascata looked really threatening, we were very careful to come closer not to get a chilly shower.
Standing there and loooking at the Grande Cascata- no matter if from the upper or the lower part of the park- we felt small and helpless, we were consumed by its robustness and speed.
On our dangerous and slippery way down we saw many caves, many waterfalls and lakes, small rivers and streams of water, all kinds of trees and grasses…
… till we reached the lowest point- Mermaids'Grotto (Grotto delle Sirene)- beautiful caves at the end of our strenght.
Our way was even more adventurous and interesting thanks to the signs showing us what (NOT) to do:
When climbing up we were allured by the amazing Tempio di Vesta standing still at the very top of the villa, expecting us and offering a shelter from the upcoming storm.
It was nice to be in the countryside (campagna) for a while again, just to walk and breath and to merge with the nature. It was even great to be tired afterwards because despite the pain you feel the satisfying pride. Yes, girls, it was a great trip, I'm proud of us…

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