Castelli Excursion & Wine Tasting
Date Published: Aug. 26, 2017
In addition to having all of Rome at their doorstep, University of Dallas students
also enjoy a campus located in the heart of the Castelli region – a collection of
hilltop towns scattered around two volcanic lakes, Lake Albano and Lake Nemi.
On Saturday, the Fall 2017 class took a day trip to three of these towns – Ariccia,
Monte Cavo, and Castel Gandolfo – to encounter the local culture and history right
next door to Due Santi.
At Ariccia, Dr. Peter Hatlie gave an introduction to the Castelli region as well as
a brief lecture on the ancient cult of the goddess Diana that was centered in Ariccia
and around Lake Nemi. At Monte Cavo, students hiked to a ridge overlooking both lakes,
giving them a phenomenal view over the volcanic terrain and out into the Mediterranean
The trip concluded at Castel Gandolfo, beloved as the traditional summer residence
of the pope. Students were encouraged to come back frequently for dinner or an afternoon
gelato, as it is the closest of the Castelli towns to campus. The class also had the
good luck of experiencing the excitement around a traditional Italian wedding, as
a wedding party spilled out into the piazza during the on-site lecture. They got to
join in some of the festivities when the bride and groom came over to get a photo
with the students!
After returning to campus, students exchanged their hiking clothes for suits and dresses
and went to the poolside lawn for the wine tasting. Monsignor Thomas Fucinaro, chaplain
of the Due Santi campus and resident wine sommelier, led the wine tasting and helped
students note each wine’s unique qualities on a scorecard. Traditional Roman food
was served as appetizers, before students and faculty moved to the mensa lawn for dinner, featuring the Due Santi house pasta and wild boar.
It was a welcome celebration to conclude a successful first week of classes.