As I mentioned in my last blog, being in Rome opens up so many possibilities for trips to other cities and towns. The public transportation system here is great. It’s easy to use, affordable, and accessible from the student residence. Inspired from our trip a week ago, my friends and I decided we should take advantage of another weekend with great weather.
We remembered our Italian professor telling us about her hometown, Viterbo, and how easy it was to get to. After talking to her after class one day, she helped us realize that there was another town called Bracciano that would be a nice halfway point on our train ride. She told us about the scenery there and explained that the castle that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes got married in was located there. We were sold.
We got a bunch of people gathered at 8am on a Saturday morning and headed to the metro to go only one stop away to catch a local train. The process was easy and painless. The scenic train ride gave us all a chance to relax (and sleep for some). We all perked up, however, when we pulled into the Bracciano station because we could see the castle and lake in the distance. When we got off we went directly to the castle and got tickets for a tour. It was awesome to get the chance to see the inside of the majestic structure, and it was also neat to experience something “touristy” without all of the tourists around. I got some amazing pictures in and around the castle, but my favorite one by far is our group shot on the top of the castle with the lake in the background.
After exploring the town a bit more and grabbing lunch, we hopped back on the train towards Viterbo. Once we were there we did lots of exploration by foot. We weren’t really sure what we wanted to see and didn’t have much of a plan, but that’s what made it an adventure! We just walked around the historical part of town and came across some neat scenery equipped with statues, fountains, and hillsides. I really enjoyed how we all got into a picture taking mood and played around with the self-timer settings on my friend’s camera…we got some silly pictures that we dubbed our “12-member band” pictures.
In order to get back to Rome at a decent hour, we headed back to the train station for the 5:00pm train. By the time we got back to Rome we were all hungry and exhausted so we ended the day with dinner in the residence. Another great day in Italy with amazing people – I’d say.