Friday, August 24, 2012

Bellinzona, Switzerland

Today I visited the city of Bellinzona! It is the capital of the Ticino canton (aka state) and a cornucopia of beauty and culture. It is also home to three castles, all of which I got to see. The main castle, Castel Grande is the only one I actually climbed up to, but it was beautiful! the castle walls are situated on top of piles of jutting rocks but once you get inside you see rolling green courtyards and people lounging in the sun. I also climbed up to the top of the white tower which had incredible views of the surrounding area (including castles #2 and #3). After hanging out at the castle for a while my friends and I headed back to the main piazza for some pasta and gelato. It was delicious, today I tried a wild berry which was refreshing but not as good as Stracciatella. 

After we returned to the Lugano train station I headed to find the Migros (supermarket) downtown.. and once again got lost. This time on my adventure I inadvertently stumbled upon a monastary and the home of a famous poet that has since passed away. You never know what you will find when you are lost in Ticino! But unlike last time I was brave enough to ask for directions (in italian!!!) and the police officer totally understood me, answered in Italian, and I made it to the supermarket! SO PROUD. I have been practicing my italian everyday with the locals and love that I am starting to understand them, even if it is only a little little little bit. 

After a scrumptious dinner of schnitzel and spetzlah, made by one of my lovely german orientation mentors! We had an ice cream social, which was way cooler than it is in the states, basically I tried like 5 different flavors of gelato! It is a good thing I am walking 4+ miles a day, otherwise the freshman 15 would be much more of a reality with all this gelato! 

Loving it here, ciao! 

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