We left on the 29th of Mach from Dolo's main car park. There were 44 students (2 classes) and 3 group leaders. We boarded the coach and said goodbye to our parents. The journey took 7 hours but we stopped twice. The first time near Ferrara, at the famous Pomposa Abbey. It's one of the biggest Benedictine monasteries in Italy. The building is Romanesque with a central nave and two aisles and a mosaic floor.
The second time we stopped at the Cathedral of Loreto, which is on the top of a hill and a place of pilgrimage. We got to the hotel around 5 pm, we checked in and went to our rooms. It was a very high building on the seafront. Before dinner we walked and played on the beach. A warm southern wind was blowing. We had a lovely dinner with the first course a second course and the desert. Our rooms were very big and we slept all together very well.
On the second day we visited Abruzzo National Park, in the south of the region near Lazio and Molise. Most of this area is located in Abruzzo. The guide explained that the park was founded in 1923 to preserve such species as:
-the Italian wolf
-the Marsican brown bear
Other animals in the park are: foxes, snakes, hares, badges, moles, wild bears and eagles. People think there are about 50 bears in the park. We saw 3, they were in big cages. The first was the friendliest and he wanted us to take photos of it, actually he wanted us to feed it.
Wolves are described as “big and bad” in nursery rhymes and fairy tales. People have always feared them, actually dogs are tamed wolves. They are shy and are afraid of us. They live in groups called “packs”. There are from 4 to 8 wolves in a pack. They go hunting together, and when the mother is away, other wolves baby-sit for her puppies. The puppies bite at their mother's mouth so it regurgitates the food. The leader of the pack is called “the alpha male”, after it there is the alpha female and then the beta male.
On Thursday we explored the Stiffe caves, not far from l'Aquila. They are 608 meters long and 65 meters deep. The stream flows very fast making a very loud noise. However there's a place called “the hall of silence” where the stream usually dries up creating a quiet place. After the caves we went to l'Aquila, which is the capital of the region. It's surrounded by high mountains. It was founded by Frederic II in 1242. the legend says that he gathered the people who lived in the 99 nearby villages and each of them built its own church. Now only few of them remain. The symbol of the city is a fountain with 99 spouts. Unfortunately we saw very little of the city because it was raining very heavily and we decided to go back to the hotel.
On the last day we saw Sulmona, which is famous for its sugared almonds and for being the birth place of Latin poet Ovidio, who wrote the “Metamorphosis”.
We got home at 8 pm, tired but happy.
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