Friday, March 22, 2013

Parco del Valentino

An old, yellow Fiat! Cute!
Wow. I still can't believe that I'm in Italy. It feels so surreal- all the cobblestone roads, Fiats, and tiny storefronts.... Today, though, we went to Parco Valentino. 

After crossing a noisy, jam-packed road full of crazy drivers, we arrived in the park. On the map, the park looked thin, a sliver of green on a grey map. In reality, though, it was quite large and had a myriad of surprises hidden inside. When we first entered the park, we were welcomed by slender silvery-white trees dancing in the warm spring breeze. The trees sat upon lush emerald grass speckled with wild daisy weeds. 

The reason we had come to the park was to have lunch. We had bought a fresh loaf of bread to have with our ham and cheese. We also had some pineapple juice that I absolutely loved. So we were in search of the perfect picnic spot. The park (which ran along the River Po) was covered in springs running like veins through the grass. It was one of these springs that we followed towards a duck pond. Griffin, of course, was intrigued and was very angry when the spot by the pond was not proclaimed "the picnic spot." Presently, we came upon a castle. It was smallish and thick, so it looked like a medieval fortress. I wasn't wrong, but I wasn't exactly right, either. 

The castle in the park

As it turns out, the castle was built in the 1800s by the Italians for the World Fair to house mid-evil art. You had to pay admission to get into the castle, but to get into the village surrounding the castle was free. Inside the walls, were painted with pre-Renaissance-styled art. There were arches painted with checkerboard designs that covered little shops (These shops held mostly touristy souvenirs.) and entrances to courtyards holding "apartments."Also inside the walls was a brick church.

A courtyard within the castle walls

The church within the castle walls

We had our lunch in the shadow of the castle, under some of the wispy trees. Griffin was very interested in the seeds falling from the trees and the gravel beneath our feet.
Griffin holds up some seeds
After finishing our lunch, we walked along the river. Then, heading uphill, we came upon a beautiful ornate fountain. Made from a grayish stone, the center was carved with both men and women alike, their hair blowing in the wind that was nonexistent. along the edges of the fountain were twelve women, each representing a different month. Some held flowers and wore light robes, one wore heavy a heavy cloak and held a hefty staff and all were in varying states of nude.
This is one of my favorite of the season statues.

We then came across a modern, well-designed playground and workout area (sorry, no pictures). Lastly, we passed the Castello Valentino. It was a beautiful mansion-castley thingie and looked very French with it's peaked roofs with windows jutting out of them. The castle itself was white and the roof was a dark, slate grey. The whole thing was enclosed by a rusty intricate fence.

The Castello Valentino
The rust of the fence is the perfect picture frame for the Castello
Hope you enjoyed the post.

1 comment:

  1. Fiats are sooo cute! Castle looks so cool same with the Castello