palaces & bike rides: caserta

Day 5: Caserta

I love bike rides. And waterfalls. And gardens. And sunshine. And I loved the perfect afternoon I had in Caserta.

Today was our final day of the field study. After an early breakfast, we loaded the bus with our luggage and set off for Caserta. Our trip took longer than expected because there was a strike at the local train station, causing more people to drive and a lot of traffic on the roads.

When we arrived, we met our guide to tour the Royal Palace. We learned that King Charles of Bourbon wanted to move the capital from Naples to a safer location, so he chose Caserta, a city easier to defend. From the center of the Palace you can see the four main squares, as well as the garden to one side and a road leading straight to Naples on the other side. All of the rooms in the Palace were pretty, but my favorites were the rooms dedicated to the seasons. The spring room was so colorful and flowers were everywhere.

We were free the rest of the afternoon so I found a sunny spot in the garden to eat lunch, write in my journal and finish my field study homework assignment.

Afterwards, Tyler and I rented bikes and set off to explore the rest of the garden. I have missed bike rides so much!!! We got to see all of the pretty fountains and waterfalls during our bike ride. All of them symbolize mythological creatures.

The last statue at the top of the hill of the garden is of Diana, the goddess of hunting, who was supposedly beautiful and admired by many. She caught a hunter, Actaeon, spying on her while she was bathing one day and got very upset, so she turned him into a deer. He was then killed by his own hunting dogs!

This afternoon was absolutely beautiful and so peaceful. The scenic bike ride, sunshine and waterfalls made for the perfect ending to this fun week of traveling throughout Southern Italy.

Make sure to check out the video below to see some of the highlights of my trip!

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