Breaking Away for Spring Break

Submitted by Paige Sullivan on the 2023 spring semester program in Rome, Italy…

Seven weeks into the semester, schoolwork picked up a lot! I spent the majority of this week in the library. John Cabot University has a beautiful library. If you enter and walk up the stairs, there is a beautiful view of the courtyard from just about every seat. In art history class, I went to the Ara Pacis in Rome, which was an open-air altar created for sacrifices during the Roman Republic. In business class, we talked about reasons why businesses such as Starbucks and Ikea flourish in some countries but fail in others. 

Visiting la Sagrada Familia

After lots of homework and learning, however, it was the beginning of spring break! I was lucky enough to start out my spring break in beautiful Lisbon, Portugal, where we visited places such as Sintra and Cascais from there. Portugal was an amazing experience, the people were so kind, and the views were incredible. We learned that people living in Portugal have a higher life expectancy due to the amount of hills that they must climb to get around, which I can totally understand! Also, I learned quickly that Portuguese food in America is not at all what it is in the USA. It is much more centered around cod than I was aware of!

Overall, it was a wonderful city and just the start of spring break! (Submitted during Week 7). 

This week was the continuation of spring break, and I would describe it as the most exhausting yet unforgettable week of my life!

Enjoying a private boat tour in Barcelona

This week was spent in Spain after leaving Lisbon. We hopped on a plane, and suddenly we were in Madrid. Upon arrival, we realized how big this city really is. In Rome, everything is within walking distance, so I truly get my miles in. In Madrid, however, walking everywhere is impossible, and it is more practical if you metro everywhere. It is very cheap to get a metro pass, and it is easy to use. In Madrid, we immerse ourselves in Spanish traditions such as flamenco dancing and tapas. The flamenco show was incredible, and the costumes were beautiful. The tapas were similar to Italian aperitivo, where you pay about 8 euros for a drink and get food along with it. The difference, however, is that the food at tapas is never ending and delicious!

After Madrid, we moved along to Barcelona, where we went to La Sagrada Familia and saw many beautiful artworks by Gaudi. We also stumbled upon a food market where I got freshly squeezed juice and a delicious empanada– some of the best things I have eaten! Barcelona reminded me a lot of Miami in that it is a city with a beach. We, of course, took advantage of the beach by going on a private boat tour and ended the trip with paella along the water. I feel very lucky to have experienced so many beautiful places in only one week, and I am very excited to come back one day! (Submitted during Week 8).