After many weekends traveling around Europe, my roommates and I finally had a weekend in Rome to relax! As amazing as that sounded, of course we had to squeeze in some sort of trip. So we were lucky enough to head out on a day trip with CEA to The Ninfa Gardens in Italy!
Without taking a moment to rest after our week of classes, we were up early on Friday morning to head to the busses. Once we were all on the bus, we rode about two hours until we reached the gardens! Prior to this, we had only seen pictures of the Ninfa Gardens online. Nothing had prepared us for what we were about to see.
Once we walked through the gates, we were instantly greeted with an abundance of trees, flowers and streams. The colors in the garden were absolutely breathtaking; it seemed like an absolute dream. This garden was built in an old medieval town that lasted seven centuries. In its early days, the city was nothing more than a small town in a rural area. However, with its central location to cities located higher up in the cliffs, the town became a huge economical city! With all of its power it was unfortunately, attacked and destroyed. The structures that remain in the garden, some with walls remaining, others with only rubble have not been tampered with or restored. All that is in the gardens is what remains from the attack.
It was amazing to see how in the epicenter of destruction, so much beauty can be present so many years later. We were lucky enough to have the director of events of the Ninfa Gardens as our tour guide. She was able to give us a really great perspective of what the gardens had to offer. Instead of just looking at the beauty of the garden, she encouraged us to listen
to the beauty as well. She had us close our eyes and listen to the birds and the rivers running. It was a totally different experience than what I could have ever imagined. Throughout our tour, I was overcome with an amazing presence of peace. It was truly an amazing experience.
After traveling to other countries alone for weeks on end, it was such a relief to be able to travel with familiar faces. The staff at CEA in Rome feels like family. They took us out to lunch and on a small tour of the town. Without CEA, I would have never heard of the Ninfa Gardens, much less have gone to visit. If you ever have a chance to visit the Ninfa Gardens, please do so! It is definitely ranked as one of my favorite places in the world.
Shayna Kerry is the spring CEA MOJO in Rome, Italy. She is a junior at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
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