|07/05/2012||Posted by Marie A Gleason under Europe, Short Term Programs, Summer Session||
Submitted by Christopher Mitchell on the 2012 summer session program in Switzerland and Italy sponsored by the Department of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management…
We arrived in Florence in the afternoon and we given a walking tour of the city. After that, we had lunch as a group and called it a night because we had to wake up early for a hotel/spa tour the next morning. The Renaissance Marriott tour was amazing because of the location’s facilities and the view of the Italian countryside. We had a delicious lunch there before we left to visit a city called Lucca which is a walled city with only four ways in or out. After Lucca, we went back to Florence and walked around the city before having dinner as a group. At night, we went to watch the Eurocup match between Italy and England.
The next day, we went to the San Lorenzo Market which sprawled through the streets of Florence. Vendors sold everything from ties, bags, and wallets to toys, sunglasses, and jewelry. I found myself in awe of the size of this market because I had never seen anything like it in the United States. That night, two of us went out to dinner with our roommate’s family who had met up with the group in Florence. We found an amazing Italian restaurant called Buca Mario where I had the best meal of my entire trip. After Florence, we spent two days in the Casa Bianca Hotel which was situated far away from the cities in Tuscany. It was a beautiful place and it allowed me to breathe more than when I was in a crowded city. It is always nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of cities no matter where you are. During our two days there as part of our classes, we had tours of two wineries where we also did tastings. The wine was amazing and the history of the vineyards themselves was even more impressive.
We spent our final three days in Rome. After taking our final exams on the first day there, we were encouraged to explore the vast city and all of its history. I saw things like the Roman Coliseum, the Vatican, the Basilica of St. Clemente, the Roman Forum, and ancient Egyptian obelisks which are stationed all over Italy. It is great to see history in one place being mixed with other ancient civilizations, and it was something I did not expect. The last night we were there was the Eurocup Final between Italy and Spain which we went to watch at the Circus Maximus. There were over 200,000 people there to watch, and although Italy lost the game many of the people there still had a lot of pride. This has been the experience of a lifetime and my only wish is that it could have gone on longer.