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ITALY ITINERARY

Our founder, Maria, walking through the streets of Bergamo, Italy with family.

Our founder, Maria, walking through the streets of Bergamo, Italy with family in 1948.

The Metropolitan International School of Miami has announced its annual Italian immersion trip. Our goal is to have our students immersed in Italian culture, learn about the ancient beginnings of Italy, further develop their Italian language skills, and to broaden their world view. Bergamo, Italy is where our founder, Maria Padovan Kindell, was born. Bergamo and the Lombardy region of Italy is a very special place for the MET school and Maria cannot wait to share it with the students. This trip provides an experience that deepens our students learning in the classroom. We hope to have you join us for an adventure of a lifetime!

May 28th, 2015 to June 8th, 2015

*Depart May 28th, 2015 from Miami International Airport – Arrive May 29th in Milano

DAY 1 – Bergamo, Upper City (La Citta Alta)

Visit and explore the La Citta Alta, Bergamo. La Citta Alta is tangled with medieval streets and is surrounded by ancient Venetian walls.  Bergamo has breathtaking views and a fascinating history.

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DAY 2 – Bergamo

Travel through the Bergamo countryside and visit Montello Recycling Plant.  http://joomla.montello-spa.it/it/

DAY 3 – Transfer to Graftipark hotel in Capo di Ponte

Arrive at Capo di Ponte and meet with the archaeologist at the Didactic Museum of Prehistoric Art and Life.

Introductory lesson – prehistoric art, knowledge of the prehistoric man, of his material and spiritual life through examples of activities, reconstructions, and use of prehistoric tools.

Visit to MUPRE, the new National Museum of Prehistory in Valcamonica (the Camonica Valley)

The National Museum of Prehistory is inside the old building of Villa Agostani in the old town center of Capodimonte. It integrates, with the exhibition of the finds, the wealth of images engraved on the rocks and it reconstructs, in an inseparable whole, the expression of the identity of the Valcamonica.

Along the rooms of the museum students can discover where the ancient Camuni lived, where they worked, where they prayed their gods and where they buried their dead.

Dinner and overnight stay at the Hotel Graftipark

DAY 4 – Visit at the National Park of Rock Engravings in Naquane

The Naquane National Park was the first park established in Valcamonica in 1955 and it is one of the most important engraved rocks complexes inside the World Heritage Unesco site n.94 “Rock Art in Valcamonica”. In this park, in a magnificent wooded environment, one can admire as many as 104 engraved rocks coming with information panels and divided into 5 easy-to-walk routes. On these wide surfaces of glacier-polished, grey-purple sandstone, the ancient valley dwellers made some figures by pecking the rock with stone strikers or, more rarely, with pointed tools.

The rock art chronology in the Park ranges from the Neolithic (5th-4th millennium B.C.) to the Iron Age (1st millennium B.C.) and there are also some engravings from historical times. The best represented period is undoubtedly the Iron Age when the valley was inhabited by the “Camunni” as documented by the Romans.

Thanks to the interpretation of the petroglyphs (rock engravings) you have the possibility to rebuild the religion and the material life of the ancient Camuni.

Afternoon – Workshop activities at the Archeodromo (a reconstructed Neolithic village)

The copper melting and working. One of the activities of the ancient Camuni was the search for minerals and their transformation to make ornaments and weapons. During the workshops some melting experiments and some jewelry will be made for each student and everyone will be able to try the copper beating making a small container.

DAY 5  – Nature hike in the Adamello Park

A nature excursion of medium-to-walk route to read the tracks left by the man from the Neolithic Age up to these days in a scenic environment dominating the Valcamonica. It’s also to find, while walking in the forest, the resources offered by nature and to smell the perfumes and hear sounds and noises and learn to watch and not just to see.

DAY 6 – Full immersion in the past with dinner and overnight in the reconstructed village

Morning:  The Weaving, use of horizontal looms and chance of making a cloth bracelet for each student.

Afternoon:  The Prehistoric Man’s Diet, grinding corn and baking bread flavored with herbs.

Prehistoric dinner before going to sleep on the leaves and on the hides of deer, and chamois.

DAY 7 – The Romanesque

Morning:  Visit to the Cluniar Monastery of San Salvatore. The Church inside the Monastery of San Salvatore is the only building that has survived until today and it belonged to a bigger monastery. Built around the 11th-12th century, its architecture represents the medieval Burgundian one particularly for the cluniar churches.

Afternoon:  Visit to the Romanesque Church of San Siro Milestone of the 11th-12th century Lombard Romanesque, the Church of San Siro clings to the rock overhanging the Oglio River and dominating the old town village of Capodiponte. The inside has a basilica plan with three naves and a crypt with vaulted ceilings.

At the end of the visit, follow-up of the workshop activities.

Detecting the rock engravings thanks to the “Frottage” technique, a detection method used by the archaeologists; each student will make casts of experimentally reproduced rock engravings. The rite of hunting and archery.

DAY 8 – Travelling in nature and in time: a historical-naturalistic walk

Morning/Afternoon:  Excursion to the Seradina-Bedolina Town Park of Rock Engravings with reading of the environment and of the engravings. Visit to the medieval village of Pescarzo built at the feet of Mount Concarena.

Pescarzo looks like a small and characteristic medieval village with narrow and winding streets and houses in stone and wood leaning against each other, typical of the Lombardy Prealps. Its inhabitants, who are traditionally hospitable, still now cultivate the beautiful land facing the Valcamonica that surrounds the village and still now they mainly maintain the activities about cattle breeding.

DAY 9 – At the Archeopark: time traveling and living prehistory again

Morning/afternoon: Inside the Archeopark you can explore a cavern like the one in which, more than 10,000 years ago, men painted the figures of the animals they hunted; you can observe how Mesolithic nomads (10,000-7,000 years ago) organized their shelters under the rock; you can stop followed by a flock of goats at the Neolithic farm where you may try out the tools of the farmer man such as the hoe and the sickle.

You can enter the cabins in the large lake-dwelling village similar to a real village of 4,000 years ago. This village extends into the lake over which you can paddle the pirogues among waterfowl and marsh reeds. Later, you can climb the hill and find a reconstructed fortified village just as it must have appeared 3,000 years ago and stop on a gentle plateau surrounded by trees; next, you can enter the log cabins similar to those built 2,500 years ago where artisans used to work and watch some artisans work with ancient techniques. It is also possible to walk along a large labyrinth.

During the stay there are several activities:

*The ritual tour of the labyrinth
*The projection of a documentary “The world of the Camuni” and a movie “An incredible adventure” shot in prehistory
*Night hike in search of rock carvings

DAY 10 – Transfer to Milano airport arrive in Miami June 8th