We had our first overnight trip this past week as we made our way through the mountains and west to the Mediterranean. This annual trip to Caserta, Pompeii, and Sorrento is always exciting to students and staff. Unfortunately we had bad weather on the second day, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying the time we had in this beautiful area of Italy.
Our first stop was in Caserta, which is approximately 25 kilometers north of Naples. The town is most famous for the Royal Palace. The palace was built in the middle of the 18th century for the Bourbon kings of Naples and remains the largest royal palace in the world in terms of volume.
After our tour, we had time to explore the incredible 120-hectare park behind the palace. In my opinion, the park is the real reason to come to Caserta.
With the students touring around on bikes, most of the teachers opted to visit the English Gardens at the upper part of the park.
We spent our afternoon in Pompeii to see the ruins and learn about the ancient Roman way of life.
Pompeii was buried in ash after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE. It wasn’t until the mid 1700s (the same time as the construction of the Royal Palace), that excavations of the site began.
The buildings are well persevered due to the lack of oxygen after being buried, and it’s still possible to see the original frescos that covered the walls of shops and in people’s homes.
The following day was rainy as I mentioned, so we opted for indoor activities. We began by visiting the Wonderwall Art Gallery. It is currently exhibiting work by sculpture Andrea de Carvalho. Originally from Brazil, De Carvalho has made a name for herself here in Italy, and was even invited to display her work at the prestigious Biennale in Venice back in 2011.
After some free time for lunch, we regrouped at the Museobottega della tarsialignea. This museum is dedicated to the incredibly detailed inlaid wood that famously came out of Sorrento. Not only does the museum house three floors worth of furniture and inlay decoration, it also runs courses for artists and anyone interested in learning the technique. So, after our tour, we were given a demonstration and were invited to practice the craft. Unfortunately for the blog, no cameras were allowed in the museum, but we did take a few snaps in the workshop.