Having an intense dose of ancient history over the first two days, we mixed the pot this morning by traveling to Monte Cassino. After a two-hour drive along the Italian countryside we arrived at the 6th century Benedictine Monastery / WW2 battleground / Casino. The site is situated on the top of a 1700ft. peak at an almost vertical gradient.
After reveling in the traditional dances of the Italian monks (pictured below), we were gifted with quick tour of the monastery, after which we were granted a half hour silent tour of the Museum situated at the heart of the construction.
The tour of the museum provided two main benefits to us students. The first, was that we were able to appreciate the works in an environment that was so different from previous experiences, as it lacked the over-crowded atmosphere that was so typical of the Roman sites. The second benefit was the wonderful views that it offered (see below) – which consequently lead to our exploration of the Polish WW2 cemetery – containing the deceased allied Polish soldiers during the battles along the Gustav line.
After examining the sites, one aspect that we found particularly interesting was the dates at which the soldiers perished. Having a decent understanding of the main battles fought in this region, it was interesting to link the dates with those on the tomb stones of the soldiers. Seeing the hundreds of soldiers tombs marked with the dates of the significant battles solidified the gravity of the aftermath of war.
Our stomachs gave in on the way to Sorrento. At the bus driver’s recommendation we made a stop at the local deli where we cleared out the prosciutto and consumed a total of 52 sandwiches between the lot of us.
We are exhausted, so we are wrapping this up without doing it justice and going to bed. Sorry everyone. Other interesting points of the day include:
- Learning that the bus driver was the cousin of the centre back for Italy was his cousin – (the guy that got bitten by Suarez)
- Watching Le Football amongst the locals
- Finding a gelato shop with a great view
Le Donne – 11/10
Kenn and Ed