Skip to main content
  Cornell University

Cornell in Rome

College of Architecture, Art and Planning

Northern Italy in Eight Days – Small Towns

The foothills of the alps
The foothills of the Alps

Aside from the amazing site visits in each of the cities, I was extremely fascinated by the cultural and atmospherical differences between each city. Those towns include: Gubbio, Urbino, Padova, Mantova, and Verona (Venice was a three-day stop between Padova and Mantova). Even the drive to each city on our huge tour bus was spectacular. We got to see sites such as the one above for hours at a time.

Gubbio

Gubbio was our very first stop of the trip. During our free time many of us took cable cars to the town’s overlook. I was expecting closed elevators of some sort, but they turned out to be standing, bird cage-like lifts. Being able to stand in the open air while climbing the great hill was thrilling.

Gayle and Alex starting their ascent
Gayle and Alex starting their ascent

Sagar and I overlooking  the view from the lift about halfway up
Sagar and I overlooking the view from the lift about halfway up

Urbino

Urbino, like Gubbio, is a small hilly town. The scenery was lush and the local cuisine was delicious. The weather was a bit chilly at night as well, so it was nice to bundle up in coats and scarves while wandering the cobblestone streets at night.

The hills are alive with the sound of music....
The hills are alive with the sound of music….

View from park where we played soccer the first night
View from park where we played soccer the first night

View from the roof top garden from the university building
View from the roof top garden from the university building

Pasta Fagioli- hearty and filling
Pasta e Fagioli – hearty and filling

Padova

Padova was a very short stop, but we were able to see a famous café while there. This café, Caffè Pedrocchi, was decked out in marble, frescoes, grand staircases, and fine fabrics. My favorite room was the yellow ball room where we saw a private party being set up. The rest of the city was quiet but busy – filled with markets, eateries, and shops. For lunch we got to buy fresh fruit from the market, and it was without a doubt the best fruit I have had in Italy.  Padova felt like a happy medium between a small town like Urbino and a big city like Rome.

IMG_4183

Mantova

Mantova was similar to Padova in that it was not as remote as Gubbio but not nearly as chaotic as Rome. It shares a similar atmosphere to that of a small college town like New Haven.  The buildings were very old, but they were upkept in a modern manner, and the city sits on a large lake with walking paths and boating docks. The restaurants were fantastic and specialized in pumpkin pasta. One night a group of opera singers from Japan broke out into song so the whole restaurant enjoyed a free performance. There was also a street festival on our last night. Every store and restaurant extended their hours, there was live music and street performances, a car show, and tons of people enjoying the activities. My favorite performance was a singing and dancing marching band – they immediately put smiles on everyone’s faces!

The opera singers!
The opera singers!

Pumpkin ravioli
Pumpkin ravioli

Verona

Saving the most classic town for last, Verona was definitely the most iconic and touristy of the small destinations. Here we enjoyed much during our free time. I climbed to the top of the town’s clock tower and saw a view of the city, wrote a letter to Juliet under the balcony where Romeo called to her, and then visited a beautiful garden with the class.

Natalie climbing the steps of the clock tower
Natalie climbing the steps of the clock tower

walls at the entrance of the house of Juliet
Walls at the entrance of the house of Juliet

Pam in the Castelvecchio
Pam in the Castelvecchio

View of the city
View of the city, clock tower in background

Getting trapped in the garden maze
Getting trapped in the garden maze

Tim sketching in the garden
Tim sketching in the garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar