Category: Field trips

Villa Lante – hydraulics engineering to delight

Villa Lante is one of the earliest and unique garden designs in Italy. It is built on a wooded slope in the 16th century. The initial designer was Italian architect Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola. The water designs were created by hydraulics engineer and architect Tommaso Ghinucci. Pirro Ligorio also contributed to the designs. A maze of shrubbery, statues and water was created at the bottom with a geometric design. Two 16th century casinis, built by different owners 30 years apart, one in Romanesque style and the other baroque. The gardens are built on levels and designed to delight guests outdoors, and includes a dining table with water handy. Visitors begin at the lower level, and ascend level to level, finally to a grotto at the top.


Medieval History Class

In our Medieval History and Dante’s World course, we studied historical events, political and social change, literature and language history from the fall of the Western Roman Empire to The Black Plague when Medieval times ended and the Italian renaissance began. This course was especially interesting due to our setting in the Midieval walled town of Viterbo. I could listen to Professor Marco for hours without getting bored! He is truly an expert in many related topics.

At Chiesa di San Pietro, built 8th century atop ancient Etruscan hill town.
At Chiesa di San Pietro, built 8th century atop ancient Etruscan hill town.

Our class field trip to Tuscania showed the development of the Midieval town through the ages. Midieval towns had two city centers, one for the Church cathedral and one for the city administrators. We saw architecture styles from the Etruscan, Roman and Medieval  times.

Towers at the cathedral San Pietro, likely built for protection.
Towers at the cathedral San Pietro, likely built for protection.
Facade of Chiesa di San Pietro
Facade of Chiesa di San Pietro
Public water trough from Midieval times. Tuscania.
Public water trough from Midieval times. Tuscania.
Roman-built road, 4-5 feet below today's ground level. Tuscania, Italy
Roman-built road, 4-5 feet below today’s ground level. Tuscania, Italy
St. Maria Maggiore
St. Maria Maggiore
San Maria Maggiore
San Maria Maggiore

Monster Park

Monster Park of Bomarzo, Italy, in the Viterbo province of Lazio, is a Midieval park of statues and buildings in the woods, built by Duke Pierfrancesco “Vicino” Orsini, during the 1550’s in memory of his late wife. It became overgrown and hidden to locals whose kids had “seen monsters” in the woods, and went running. Restoration began in the 1960’s and Monster Park now takes visitors.