Saluti da Italia!

July 13, 2009

from Dean Laura Tonelli

The Montserrat Italy group started its second weekend in Italia with a day-long field trip throughout the region, led by “yours truly” in the Etrusca cap,  painted by Viterbo alumnus Jim Falck.

First stop was the Etruscan necropolis of Cerverteri (a city of 30,000 people at its height c. 650 BCE that traded with groups from all around the Mediterranean, from Sardinia to Sicilly, Carthage to East Greece.)  This is our Indiana Jones caper, dodging in and out of the tombs for several hours and getting lost on the Via degli Inferi.  The most distinctive tombs are enormous mounds, covered in earth (and thus integrated into the landscape) with interiors carved out of the tufa to form replicas of Etruscan houses.   The Etruscan art history students gave the tour to the whole group, describing different aspects of the architecture and decoration.

After a quick swim in the Mediterranean, we finished the day exploring the dazzling color-encrusted sculpture park built by Niki de St. Phalle and Jean Tinguely.  The park is filled with characters from the Tarot, with the Empress-Sphinx serving as the house of the artist during the park’s construction.

After gelati, acqua,  and a pisolino (nap), we’re good to go again.

Next weekend – ROMA!