We spent some time this morning briefing about our trip thus far over breakfast at the hotel in Basel. It is always amazing to hear the different pieces that stick out to each of us. We then packed up and took the bus back to the train station and took the train to Riva San Vitale, with only one train change. The train ride was 4 hours and many of us slept and read. Towards the end, a group of us entertained each other with trying to sing lyrics to songs listed on the Top 100 Requested Karaoke Songs. We had a great time.
Daniela (the director of the CESA-Center for European Studies and Architecture- and the Villa Maderni, which used by Virginia Tech to house study abroad students year round) met us at the train station to get our bags and we made the 5-10 minute walk to the Villa. We had a walking tour of Riva, where we stopped for gelato of course and then dinner at the Villa. Before dinner we had some free time and it was enough time to go for a run. Sheldon and I ran about 3 miles and enjoyed getting to know the area. For meals, they have a chef and sous chef that make wonderful spreads. After dinner we met together outside in the garden and Daniela gave us a briefing on the history of the Villa. But do to the dropping temperature, we moved into the fire place room for a briefing on Politecnico di Milano by Sheldon and Sreyoshi. After dinner we sampled grappa that was made from the grapes grown at the villa. By the way, Daniela also has a vineyard at her house that she tends to. She is pretty impressive.